The Federal government of Nigeria has indicated plans to raise $6.9 billion from multilateral lenders to offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy of the country.

The government will seek $3.4 billion from the International Monetary Fund, $2.5 billion from the World Bank and a further $1 billion from the African Development Bank, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed told reporters Monday in the capital, Abuja.

The government has also started talks with multilateral lenders to suspend debt repayments for this year and next, Ahmed said.

The President, Muhamadu Buhari, has also given approval for the withdrawal of $150m from the Sovereign Wealth Fund for distribution to the three tiers of government.

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The Minister of Finance said the amount would be withdrawn from the stabilization fund component of the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Zainab said the need to withdraw the amount was to cushion the negative impact of the drop in revenue on the federation account.

She said, for instance, that since January, revenue inflow into the account has been on a decline – a situation that has affected the amount distributed to the three tiers of government by the Federation Account Allocation Committee.