The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed a dire interest in soliciting a sum of $3.5bn emergency loans from W’Bank, AfDB to fill a growing gap in its budget in the latest sign of the economic damage being wrought on oil-rich nations by tumbling crude prices.

Financial Times report that the $2.5bn (N498bn) loan from the World Bank and a parallel $1bn (N199bn) loan from the AfDB, which will enjoy below-market rates, must still be approved by both banks’ boards.

The loan request from the eight-month-old government of President Muhammadu Buhari is intended to help fund a N2.9tn ($15bn) state deficit, which has been deepened by a hefty increase in public spending as the country attempts to stimulate a slowing economy.

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"I think we all agree that Nigeria is facing significant external and fiscal accounts challenges from the sharp fall in oil prices, as of course are all oil exporters,” the IMF’s representative in Nigeria, Gene Leon, told the Financial Times.

The visit by the IMF boss earlier in January was an opener for the country, as it increased an awareness concerning the fragility which the country has found itself in respect to strengthening the economy.