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Nigeria: UNGA77 – As Buhari Administration Borrows More Money, It Seeks Debt Cancellation



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Nigeria’s public debt has risen the most under the Buhari administration when compared to previous governments since 1999.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly made a call for the cancellation of debts owed by developing countries.

He noted that most developing countries are faced with multifaceted challenges with a “debilitating chokehold on their fiscal space.”

Hence the “need to address the burden of unsustainable external debt by a global commitment to the expansion and extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative to countries facing fiscal and liquidity challenges as well as outright cancellation for countries facing the most severe challenges.”

Although Mr Buhari did not spell out details of his debt cancellation proposal, it appears to be an interest of his administration as his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, made a similar proposal during his recent visit to the US.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo earlier this month while in Washington DC, proposed a Debt-For-Climate (DFC) Swap deal in order to ensure a just energy transition for African countries.

Nigeria’s external debt is considered to be the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa and has already been rescheduled several times. In spite of this rescheduling and refinancing by creditors who were either members of the Paris Club (governments), London Club (banks) or independent creditors, arrears of this debt keep accumulating over time.

Nigeria’s public debt has risen the most under the Buhari administration when compared to previous governments since 1999, and foreign debt has grown three times more than the combined figure recorded by the past three administrations.

While the Obasanjo administration met $28 billion as foreign debt in 1999, it left $2.11 billion in 2007 after successfully securing a write-off by the London and Paris clubs of foreign creditors.