International

Nigeria announces $6bn stimulus package

The Nigerian government has announced a $6bn (£4.8bn) stimulus package to support businesses hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

A committee led by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo put forward the proposal.

It was approved by the cabinet during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

Nigeria is under pressure to stimulate growth and cut debt amid a slump in global oil prices.

Nigeria is one of the continent’s largest oil producers and money from its sale is vital for government spending.

Mr Osinbajo said millions of Nigerians could fall into extreme poverty before the pandemic ends if measures are not taken.

The vice-president said the plan was to put money into the economy, and hopefully stop it from slipping into recession.

At the moment, it is still not clear how the money would get to the intended businesses and households.

In the past, funds intended to stimulate the economy and encourage growth were misappropriated by public officials.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has approved a $750m loan for Nigeria’s energy sector.