COVID-19: President Buhari begs IMF, World Bank to cancel Nigeria’s debts

COVID-19: President Buhari begs IMF, World Bank to cancel Nigeria’s debts

- President Muhammadu Buhari is advocating for international financial institutions to assist Nigeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic

- The president called on the institutions to among other things consider outright debt cancellation for Nigeria

- President Buhari made the comment on Monday, May 4 in Abuja while participating in a virtual summit of Heads of State and Government

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged international financial institutions to assist member states, including Nigeria in cushioning the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through various initiatives.

The president listed the support initiatives, which includes extending concessional loans, technical support, lowering of tariff on medical equipment and consumables, sharing of expertise in case management, adopting open trade policies, as well as outright debt cancellation.

President Buhari made the comment on Monday, May 4 in Abuja while participating in a virtual summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

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COVID-19: President Buhari begs IMF, World Bank to cancel Nigeria’s debts

President Buhari is advocating for debt relief for developing nations in the fight against COVID-19
Source: Twitter

The president also stated that only a collective international approach would mitigate the devastating effect of COVID-19.

According to him, national, regional and global strategies would be required to tackle the pandemic.

His words: “Since the outbreak of the disease, countries have made concerted efforts to limit the spread of the pandemic within and outside their borders as well as treating those infected by the virus.

“Two weeks ago, we in West Africa came together to work out a common sub-regional response to the crisis. The summit appointed me the champion to lead our efforts on fighting the pandemic in our region.

“It is now clearly evident that no nation can independently and singlehandedly tackle a pandemic of this nature which is no respecter of borders, regions or status.

“Invariably, enhancing multilateral cooperation through exchange and sharing of best practices is imperative to overcome the disease. We must, therefore, form a united front against this common enemy by being coordinated and timely in our responses.

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“Furthermore, we must all encourage and empower our scientists and medical experts to join the quest for a vaccine and cure to this universal plague.’’

Nigeria and other countries have in the past weeks' gotten loans from either the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Meanwhile, leading civil society organisations in Nigeria have urged the federal government to ensure transparency in the use of the IMF's financial assistance to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and shore up the country’s failing economy.

The civil society groups in a statement sent to journalists on Monday, May 4 urged the Nigerian government to prioritize and utilise the funds to improve health spending, socio-economic safety nets and support for small and medium scale enterprises.

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