President Muhammadu Buhari has re-echoed calls for review of the eligibility criteria for debt suspension, including outright cancellation for least developed and developing countries.
Buhari, while speaking at the ongoing 76th session of the UN general assembly in New York on Friday, told the world leaders to urgently consider expansion and extension of the debt service suspension initiative.
Buhari said: “On the issue of debt, we have seen that developing countries have been faced with unsustainable debt burdens even before the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of new wave of deepening debt, where vital public financial resources are allocated to external debt servicing and repayments at the expense of domestic health and financing for critical developmental needs,”
“I must commend the current initiatives by the international financial institutions and the G20 aimed at significantly mitigating the economic situation of the indebted countries and urge for more efforts in this regard.
“Therefore, there is an urgent need to consider expansion and extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative to include all Developing, Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States facing fiscal and liquidity challenges.
“In addition, a review of the eligibility criteria for debt suspension, including outright cancellation, is needed for countries facing the most severe challenges.”