Why Nigeria was exempted from IMF debt service relief

Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund has exempted Nigeria from the immediate debt service relief it granted a number of countries.

Nigeria is not owing the Fund, hence no debt to pardon.

The relief, according to a statement on Monday, is under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust covering only 25 countries, which include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo DR and The Gambia.

The Managing Director, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, stated that the relief was part of the Fund’s response to help “our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover” their obligations to the organisation. It is for an initial six months.

“Today, I am pleased to say that our executive board approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped CCRT as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial 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 $500m in grant-based debt service relief, including the recent $185m pledge by the United Kingdom and $100m 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 further boost our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries,” Georgieva stated.

Other countries to benefit from the debt service relief are Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.

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