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Buhari in France: Debt service suspension not enough — Africa needs loan write-off

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, DG of the WTO, had recently called for a multilateral debt relief for low income countries to boost investment and trade globally.

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked European countries and global financial institutions to consider loan restructure or complete debt relief for African countries.

He said this will help reduce the impact of coronavirus pandemic.

Buhari made this call on Tuesday at the Financing Africa Summit held at Grande Palais Ephemere, Paris.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, had recently called for a multilateral debt relief for low income countries to boost investment and trade globally.

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, quoted Buhari as saying African countries need more vaccines to protect majority of its citizens.

“It is in this vein that we solicit the support of the French government with its influence in the European Union to lend its voice to the efforts being made to mobilize additional resources for developing economies, most especially Africa in order to strengthen the quantum of investments to our economies. This financial support should also be extended to the private sector,” he said.

Buhari advised the European Union to encourage fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines in less developed countries, and promote the establishment of manufacturing facilities.

On the Paris Agreement for Climate Change, President Buhari noted that African countries would need financial support for green energy investment and COP-26.

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Buhari said Nigeria will refocus on gas while adopting a Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative.

On the theme of “Africa Private Sector — Reforms – Infrastructure’’, Buhari said Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will be fully explored to ensure more precision in development, cutting down waste and reducing chances of corruption.

“The government intends to leverage on Public-Private Partnership to bolster its job creation and anti-corruption drive. In terms of job creation, Nigeria has an abundant labour force since 30.5 percent of its population is between the ages of 25 and 54.’’

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