In a sustained effort to help alleviate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy, the World Bank has made two-pronged assistance to the Nigerian government geared towards boosting the country’s economy via electricity supply and defense against COVID-19.
First is the $750m loan to Nigeria for power sector. Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria confirmed the approval of the $750 million credit, intended for Power Sector Recovery Operation (PSRO) aimed at boosting Nigeria electricity supply and reliability.
According to him, “The lack of reliable power has stifled economic activity and private investment and job creation, which is ultimately what is needed to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty”. In addition, the World Bank has also provided Nigeria with a N3.7 Billion response support fund targeted at the prevention, detection and response to COVID-19 at state level.
Speaking on the importance of the N3.7 billion support fund to the grassroots, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the NCDC Chairman during the signing of the MOU with the state governments in Abuja, disclosed that the NCDC originally had the intention of focusing its attention on the states prior to the pandemic.
He said however, “We did not know where we will get the resources from and we did not know that we will be confronted with an outbreak of this extent”.