- President Buhari has called on countries to cancel the debts of developing countries like Nigeria and other African countries
- The Nigerian president made the call while speaking at the ongoing 76th session of the UN general assembly in New York
- According to President Buhari, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic was responsible for the call
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated calls for review of the eligibility criteria for debt suspension, including outright cancellation for developing and least developed countries.
Buhari made the call while speaking at the ongoing 76th session of the UN general assembly in New York on Friday.
He told the world leaders to urgently consider expansion and extension of the debt service suspension initiative.
In May, the president told European countries and global financial institutions to consider loan restructure or complete debt relief for African countries to help reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, G-20, a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 of the world’s largest economies, along with the European Union, established a debt service suspension initiative (DSSI).
The initiative, according to World Bank, had delivered more than $5 billion in relief to more than 40 eligible countries, including Nigeria.
The suspension period, originally set to end on December 31, 2020, has been extended through December 2021.
“On the issue of debt, we have seen that developing countries have been faced with unsustainable debt burdens even before the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of new wave of deepening debt, where vital public financial resources are allocated to external debt servicing and repayments at the expense of domestic health and financing for critical developmental needs,” Buhari told world leaders during UN session.
“I must commend the current initiatives by the international financial institutions and the G20 aimed at significantly mitigating the economic situation of the indebted countries and urge for more efforts in this regard.
“Therefore, there is an urgent need to consider expansion and extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative to include all Developing, Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States facing fiscal and liquidity challenges.
“In addition, a review of the eligibility criteria for debt suspension, including outright cancellation, is needed for countries facing the most severe challenges.”
How border closure helped Nigeria - Buhari
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that President Buhari on Wednesday, September 22, said the closure of Nigeria's borders for over one year helped the country “tremendously”.
Presidential spokesman Adesina said the president said this when he held a meeting with Maxima Zorreguieta, Queen of the Netherlands, in the US.
Legit.ng recalls that the federal government had, in August 2019, ordered a closure of the country’s land borders over illegal importation of drugs, arms and agricultural products into Nigeria from neighbouring West African countries.
Photos emerge as Buhari meets WTO DG, Okonjo-Iweala in New York
Meanwhile, Buhari met with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Director General of the World Trade Organization in New York.
The photos were shared by Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity on his official Facebook page on Tuesday, September 20.
According to him, the meeting between the duo took place on Monday, September 20, while the Nigerian leader is in US for the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76).
Arewa group lauds Nigerians for identifying with country at 76th UN General Assembly
The group in a statement signed by its president, Muhammad Matazu described the act as patriotic and appealed to the few who have refused to see the good things happening in the country to have a rethink.
Legit.ng gathered that the participants waved the Nigerian national flags, sported t-shirts, and displayed banners announcing progress made, their commitment to one Nigeria, and a yearning for peace and progress.
Nigeria Must Not Break: People in New York campaign against secession
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Nigerians living in New York staged a solidarity march in support of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The protesters converged near the United Nations Secretariat ahead of the UN general assembly (UNGA) which is expected to commence on Tuesday, September 21.
Nigerians at home have dismissed the protesters, claiming most of them are paid to participate.