By Chijioke Ohuocha
ABUJA, June 24 (Reuters) - Nigeria is in discussions with the World Bank and other multilateral lenders to raise $6.5 billion, the finance ministry said in a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
The coronavirus outbreak and a sharp fall in oil prices have magnified headwinds in the Nigerian economy, triggering a historic decline in growth and large financing needs.
The central bank has put Nigeria’s balance of payment gap at $14 billion for 2020 and said that a wider deficit will be funded through a combination of reserves and financing from multilateral lenders.
Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed told an investor call on Tuesday that the World Bank will meet on the Nigerian funding request on Aug. 6 and that the government was also in talks with regional lender Afrexim Bank for a new loan, according to someone on the call.
In the presentation document seen by Reuters, Ahmed said the government needed $6.5 billion, did not plan to issue a Eurobond this year, and would draw $150 million from its sovereign wealth fund to augment revenue disbursements.
In April the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved $3.4 billion in emergency financial assistance for Nigeria to support its response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Catherine Evans and Andrew Cawthorne)