Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance
Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance

‘Nigeria has no outstanding debt obligation to be forgiven’

Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning has confirmed that it is true that Nigeria is not a beneficiary of the recent International Monetary Fund’s debt relief.

In a tweet, the Finance Minister however said since Nigeria is not indebted to the IMF, there is no outstanding debt obligation to be forgiven.

Due to ravaging incidence of coronavirus pandemic, IMF recently granted debt relief to 25 countries as part of the Fund’s efforts to support the affected economies.

However, Ahmed explained that Nigeria’s application for new IMF financing is under consideration.

She explained in the tweet that the new application is for financing under the Rapid Financing Initiative.

Nigeria is entitled to access up to 100% of its quota under RFI, the finance minister added.

MarketForces had reported that the IMF Executive Board said it has approved immediate debt relief to its poorest and most vulnerable members.

The beneficiary countries that will receive debt service relief include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros and Congo, D.R.

Also, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, and Mozambique are among the beneficiaries.

Others are Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.

According to statement issued by Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the Fund said the Executive Board approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries.

The relief which comes under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) is part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Georgieva said: “This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months.

“It will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts”.

IMF said the CCRT can currently provide about US$500 million in grant-based debt service relief.

However, this includes the recent US$185 million pledge by the United Kingdom and US$100 million provided by Japan as immediately available resources.

Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important contributions, the MD said.

“I urge other donors to help us replenish the Trust’s resources and boost further our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries”, Georgieva added.

‘Nigeria has no outstanding debt obligation to be forgiven’

Comments are closed.