COVID-19

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has said Nigeria did not benefit from the recent debt relief by the International Monetary Fund because the country is not indebted to the IMF.

Ahmed, in a tweet on Thursday, said, “It is true Nigeria is not a beneficiary of recent IMF debt relief for 25 countries. As stated in IMF Executive Board statement, the relief ‘provides grants to our poorest and 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. Nigeria’s application for new IMF financing is under consideration and receiving attention.”

According to the minister, the new application is for financing under the Rapid Financing Initiative.

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“Nigeria is entitled to access up to 100 per cent of its quota under the Rapid Financing Initiative. Our current financial position at the IMF is public information on the International Monetary Fund website,” she added.
It was reported that the IMF had on Monday announced the approval of immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust as part of its response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The beneficiary countries were Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, and Yemen.

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