Officials in Nigeria are considering asking the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and other international fund holders, for help in fixing its budget after crude oil prices plunged by more than 75% in the last 18 months.
The government said it is looking to borrow as much as $9 billion to fund its cash-starved economy.
The 75% decrease in prices to a current rate of $33 per barrel means Nigeria is losing money on some of the oil it pumps.
Nigeria and Azerbaijan are now the first two major oil producing countries to admit they may need to borrow money to plug a hole in their budgets.
Africa’s largest economy is also the continent’s biggest oil producer. The sector accounts for about 35% of GDP, 75% of government revenue and 90% of export earnings.
Nigeria’s foreign currency reserves dwindled to $28 billion at the end of January, down from $43 billion two years ago.
The country’s deficit is expected to reach $15 billion in 2016 as the government invests in big infrastructure projects aimed at reducing the country’s dependency on oil.
The country is also suffering from its own power outages and fuel shortages because it lacks the ability to refine enough of its own crude oil supply.
The finance ministry has denied reports that it has already asked for emergency cash, but said it is considering a World Bank loan as one way of funding the deficit.
“The truth is that Nigeria… has indicated an intention to borrow 1.8 trillion naira principally for investment in capital projects to stimulate the economy,” Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said in a statement.
Nigeria has been asking Saudi Arabia to cut OPEC oil supplies in support of increasing the price per barrel.