A financial analyst, Mr Moses Igbrude, has appealed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend debt service relief to Nigeria because of the second wave of COVID-19.
Igbrude, who is the chief executive officer of Ogu Investment, made the appeal in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to him, including Nigeria in the debt service relief because of the global pandemic will be quite profound. He said, “The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an economic downturned in the country. This made government revenue to dwindle in recent times, with fewer developmental projects being executed.’’
According to him, factoring Nigeria in the next batch of nations expecting to get debt relief would be a financial respite.
“Granting us the relief will be the best economically, because it will give government ample opportunity to disburse scarce resources as there are pressing needs on the waiting list. The pandemic brought with it societal challenges that need to be addressed,” Igbrude said.
The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on April 1, 2021 approved a third tranche of grants for debt service relief for 28 member countries under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT).
This approval follows two prior tranches approved on April 13, 2020 and October 2, 2020, respectively. It enables the disbursement of grants from the CCRT for payment of all eligible debt service falling due to the IMF from its poorest and most vulnerable members from April 14, 2021 to Oct.15, 2021.
The relief is expected to help free scarce financial resources for vital emergency health, social, and economic support to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.