The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made a commitment to give financial support to Nigeria and other low-income countries in the fight against poverty.
The chairperson of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and Minister for finance of Sweden, Ms M. Andersson, expressed this commitment during a virtual spring meeting of the World Bank Group and the IMF.
She explained that one of the positions reached by the committee during the meeting was the need to support the IMF in exploring reforms to its concessional financing instruments for low-income countries and increase the lending capacity of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust.
Nigeria is categorized as part of the low income nations in need of poverty alleviation to cushion the worsening state of poverty especially with its increasing population. Therefore, there is the need to assess the underlying conditions of this intervention.
In 2019 the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS) to be 40.1 percent of the total population living below the country’s poverty line of N137,430 per year while the emergence of the novel coronavirus has further compounded Nigerians’ vulnerability as seen in the high rate of unemployment rate at 33.3% as of Q4 2020 and rising inflation at 17.3% as of February 2021.
It may be recalled that in April 2020, IMF approved and disbursed the sum of US$3.4bn (N1.22trn) in emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) in support of the government’s efforts in addressing the severe economic impact of the covid-19 related shocks and fall in oil prices.