The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zanaib Ahmed, has explained Nigeria’s exclusion from the 25 countries that got debt service relief from the International Monetary (IMF).
Mrs. Ahmed who sought to make the clarification in her official Twitter handle @ZShamsuna, explained that Nigeria had no debt obligation to the Fund and could not therefore receive debt service relief.
She tweeted: “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 & 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. The new application is for financing under the Rapid Financing Initiative (RFI)
“Nigeria is entitled to access up to 100% of its quota under the Rapid Financing Initiative (RFI). Our current financial position at the IMF is public information on International Monetary Fund website”.
Nigeria according to information on IMF website has a quota (Special Drawing Right) of 2454.5 million.
Nigeria joined the IMF on March 30, 1961.
The Fund had on Monday approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMF Managing Director, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva in a statement said: “This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts.
“The CCRT can currently provide about US$500 million in grant-based debt service relief, including the recent US$185 million pledge by the U.K. and US$100 million provided by Japan as immediately available resources. Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important contributions. I urge other donors to help us replenish the Trust’s resources and boost further our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries”,
The countries that got debt service relief 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.