The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Development, Zainab Ahmed, has explained why the International Monetary Fund, IMF, did not consider Nigeria for debt relief.
The IMF, earlier this week, announced the decision of its Executive Board to grant debt relief to 25 countries, leaving out Nigeria.
The minister, in a series of tweets via her official Twitter handle, @ZShamsuna, on Thursday, said the relief was meant for the “poorest and most vulnerable members (of the group) to cover part of their IMF debt obligations.”
The Minister while tweeting that Nigeria has so far contributed $3.4 billion to the Fund, confirmed that Nigeria does not owe the IMF.
It is true Nigeria is not a beneficiary of the recent IMF debt relief for 25 countries,” the minister said in her initial tweet.
As indicated in IMF Executive Board statement, the relief ‘provides grants to our poorest & most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months.
Since Nigeria is not indebted to the IMF, there is no outstanding debt obligation to be forgiven,” she clarified.
Mrs Ahmed, in her statement, reiterated that Nigeria’s application for new IMF financing is currently under consideration.
According to her, the new application was for financing under the Rapid Financing Initiative, RFI, and Nigeria, like other members, was entitled to access up to 100 per cent of its contribution quota.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, announcing the debt relief last week, said it was part of the group’s response to help address the impact of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic on poor and vulnerable economies.
She listed the benefiting countries as Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali and Mozambique.
Others are Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, and Yemen.