FG Opposes IMF and World Bank Debt Relief

Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning has made it known while speaking virtually at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meeting, that debt relief will not sustain the financing needs of Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa.

The Minister, while speaking on behalf of Angola and South Africa Constituencies commended the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) and the G20 Leadership for the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and calls for extension.

She expressed that, ‘the associated flows from the DSSI may not sustain the massive financing needs of countries.’

She therefore urged the global bodies to pay ‘more attention to debt management and domestic resource mobilisation.’

She proceeded by disclosing that Nigeria welcomes the Progress Report on the 2020 IBRD and International Finance Corporation (IFC) shareholding reviews and will continue to support the gradual adjustment of membership shareholding in the World Bank Group (WBG) to address the under representation of members.

She further stated that, ‘However, given the need for encashments of recently approved IBRD and IFC Subscriptions, as well as the constrained fiscal environment, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adjustment this time is not advised.’

Also, considering the huge financing gap that exists to support the recovery of African economies, ‘we share concerns on the capital adequacy of the WBG institutions.’

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‘In this regard, we urge all stakeholders to work together and ensure that Development Association (DA) has enough resources to help the poorest and most resource- constrained members of the WBG.’

In a bid to reduce the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on jobs, the Minister appealed for more investments in broadband network and vocational skills from the international community to close the gap of unemployment in the country.

She made a request for global solidarity in advancing the digital space in Africa so as to enable the continent benefit from newly created jobs.

She said, ‘Assuming a strong recovery in 2021 full year (FY21), most of the current jobs may not return, while new jobs will be created.’

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