Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Nigeria’s President Buhari Calls for Debt Forgiveness

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari urged international financial institutions to cancel the debt obligations of member states to help them withstand the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a meeting with other heads of state from the Non-Aligned Movement, Buhari urged official lenders to help cushion the pandemic fallout with “outright debt cancellation,” according to a statement sent by his office.

Nearly half of Nigeria’s outstanding external debt is with multilateral lenders, led by the World Bank Group with $10.1 billion. Beijing-based Export-Import Bank of China is the second-biggest creditor with loans totaling $3.2 billion, while Eurobonds account for $10.86 billion or 39% of external debt.

In April, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said the government is seeking a temporary suspension from multilateral and bilateral creditors to unlock funds to battle the illness that is spreading fast in Africa’s most populous country.

The West African country received $3.4 billion in emergency financing from the International Monetary Fund last week, but currently holds no outstanding debt with the global lender.


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