We’re seeking debt service deferral from IMF – Finance minister

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed says that the federal government are seeking a debt service deferral form the International Monetary Fund.

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This is coming in the midst of the global Coronavirus pandemic which has slowed down virtually all aspects of the economy.

In Nigeria, federal government revenues are dwindling especially oil revenues and custom duties, which has compounded federal government’s revenue challenges that has been lingering for some time now.

As such, the minister said that on order for the federal government to continue delivering good governance to its people, it is seeking a debt service deferral from the International Monetary Fund.

As it stands, Nigeria’s debt servicing as contained in the 2020 appropriation act is N2.453 trillion.

The amount the federal government has stated it cannot spend on debt servicing considering the current economic challenges facing the country.

The minister stated this web conferencing on Tuesday, according to a series of tweet by Tolu Ogunlesi, new media aide to the president.

“We’re exploring a deferment of some of our debt servicing obligations from 2020-2021 and beyond. It’s not debt forgiveness, just a postponement of repayments until a time when we are better able to,” she said

She further clarified that the $3.4billion IMF emergency assistance to Nigeria had no conditionalities attached, adding that Nigeria will not commence repayment immediately.

According to her, “This is a 3-and-a-quarter moratorium on the IMF assistance to Nigeria. This means we don’t have to start repaying untill 3.25yrs”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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