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Row over Nigeria debt repayment

Posted by By Emma Emeozor on 2005/12/28 | Views: 353 |

Row over Nigeria debt repayment


The plan to cancel part of Nigeria’s $30 billion (£17bn) debt owed Western nations has become a subject of heated debate in the United Kingdom.

The plan to cancel part of Nigeria’s $30 billion (£17bn) debt owed Western nations has become a subject of heated debate in the United Kingdom.

Religious leaders in the UK are saying that it would be a huge burden for Nigeria to repay a further $12 billion even though the deal would relieve the country of nearly $18 billion in debt. They argued that despite its oil wealth, Nigeria is one of the world’s poorest countries. Nigeria is the world's eighth largest oil producer, and the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.

BBC quoted critics as saying that funds available from abroad only benefit Nigeria's rich elite, which cares little for the poor. In his contribution, the head of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Rev David Coffey, said debt relief is a matter of justice, not charity.

"We want to secure that debt cancellation. We applaud the UK and Nigerian government’s efforts to secure debt cancellation for Nigeria," he told BBC Radio Four's Today programme.

He pointed out that of the $12bn that would still have to be repaid, "$1.7bn is coming to the UK, and that figure is twice as much as the UK is giving in aid to the whole of Africa in 2005."

The Anglican Archbishop of York and the Muslim Council of Britain are also among a group of religious leaders who have become involved in the debate.

The issue has, however, raised serious questions about debt cancellation, including whether the rich countries have a moral obligation at all to help poor countries which fail to keep their house in order.
The Federal Government’s efforts at debt relief yielded positive result recently following the decision of Nigeria’s main creditor, the Paris Club to write off $18 billion (£10bn) debt owed it by Nigeria.

The government will, however, buy back a chunk of outstanding loans under the relief package.
About $31bn of Nigeria's debt is owed to members of the 19-nation-strong Paris Club. It has not received any fresh loans since 1992, but has repaid $8bn debt since then.

At the time when the news broke, the United Kingdom's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, said the debt relief combined with the debt buy-back would "mean there is 100 per cent debt relief for Nigeria possible over the next six months".

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Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)