The Federal Government has reacted to the exclusion of Nigeria from the list of countries to benefit from the International Monetary Fund ‘s (IMF) debt relief program to 25 countries around the globe.
In her reaction, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, said that Nigeria didn’t enjoy any debt relief from the International Monetary Fund, as the country had no outstanding debt with the Bretton Woods institution. Going further, she pointed out that Nigeria’s application for new IMF financing is being considered.
In her statement, the Minister said:
“It is true Nigeria is not a beneficiary of recent IMF debt relief for 25 countries. As stated in the 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 6 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. The new application is for financing under the Rapid Financing Initiative (RFI).”
Ahmed further disclosed that Nigeria is entitled to access up to 100% of its quota under the RFI.
It could be recalled that 2 days ago, the IMF announced that the fund would be providing a $500 million grant based debt service relief to 25 countries as part of its response to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their various economies.