Containing COVID-19: Nigerian President Buhari approves withdrawal of $150m from Sovereign Wealth Fund

The President, Muhamadu Buhari, has approved the withdrawal of $150m from the Sovereign Wealth Fund for distribution to the three arms of government.

President Muhammadu Buhari. [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]

At a media briefing on the fiscal policy measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus and the impact of the disease on the economy, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said they needed to withdraw the amount to mitigate the negative impact of the drop in revenue on the federation account.

She explained that since January, the revenue inflow into the account has been reduced. She added that this situation has affected the amount distributed to the arms of the government.

She added that the Nigerian government will soon be calling on international financial institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank among others to request for additional fund in the fight against the pandemic.

President Buhari in March set up a Special Ministerial Task Force to develop and advise the government on its economy and stimulus packages.

The task force is headed by Ahmed. Other members include the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba; Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Silva; Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emiefele, and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari.

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