The International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Wednesday announced a hold on debt payments from Nigeria and other sub-Saharan Africa nations so that they can battle the coronavirus pandemic.
debt Management Office in January stated that the federal government and the 36 states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, owed a total N26.22tn as of September 30, 2019.
The amount indicated that the total public debt rose by 2.02 per cent in 12 months – from September 2018, when the Federal Government, the states and the FCT owed a total of N25.7tn.
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“The World Bank Group and the IMF believe it is imperative at this moment to provide a global sense of relief for developing countries as well as a strong signal to financial markets,” the Washington-based development lenders said in a joint statement.
“The move aims to help countries that are home to two-thirds of the world’s population living in extreme poverty – largely in sub-Saharan Africa – and qualify for the most generous, low-cost loans from the International Development Association financed by wealthier nations,” it added.
“The coronavirus outbreak is likely to have severe economic and social consequences for IDA countries,” which will face “immediate liquidity needs to tackle challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak,” the organisation said.
Nigeria is owing IDA $9.4m, according to the document released by the DMO in January 2020.
The IMF and World Bank asked the Group of 20 nations to support the initiative for “all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from IDA countries that request forbearance.”
Among the bilateral creditors that Nigeria owes as of September 2019 are France (AFD) – $365.50m; Japan (JICA) – $76.52m; India (Exim Bank of India) – $29.59m; and Germany (KFW) – $211.45m.
Frontpage September 18, 2018