Buhari seeks debt relief pledges, COVID-19 Vaccines for Africa

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on European countries and global financial institutions to restructure Africa’s debt portfolios and supply complete debt relief, to reduce the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president left the call at the Financing Africa Summit held in the Grande Palais Ephemere in Paris, France, on Tuesday, using the theme: “External Financing and debt Treatment”.

He discovered that many African countries were experiencing debt distress and that the debt service suspension by France and the G-20 wasn’t far-reaching enough.

Buhari added that there was a need for more sustainable and affordable financing solutions, including debt relief and additional debt restructuring.

He also called for the release of vaccines to Africa, which, he asserted, had been left behind in protecting the bulk of its own citizens.

The Nigerian leader said the drop in commodity costs as COVID-19 took a toll on the international market had further slowed growth in certain states and strained health centres.

“It’s in this vein that we solicit the aid of the French government, with its own influence in the European Union, to give its voice to the efforts being made to mobilise additional funds for developing markets most especially in Africa, in order to strengthen the quantum of investments to our markets.

“This financial aid should also be expanded to the private industry,” he explained.

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The president said the European Union should promote fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines to developed countries and foster the establishment of production centres.

In terms of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Buhari noted that African nations would need financial aid for green energy investment and COP-26.

He said Nigeria was refocusing on gas while adopting a Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative.

On the subject of”Africa Private Sector — Reforms — Recruitment”, ” the president said Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) would be fully explored to make sure more precision in development, cutting down waste and the diminishing likelihood of corruption.

“The government plans to leverage on Public-Private-Partnerships to strengthen its job creation and anti-corruption drive.

“With regards to job development, Nigeria has an abundant workforce because 30.5 per cent of its population is between the ages of 25 and 54.”


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