Why Nigeria Can’t Get Debt Relief, By Britain
From Iyefu Adoba in Abuja, 02.03.2005
Britain’s Minister for Africa, Mr. Chris Mullin, yesterday said the Paris Club
of creditors may be reluctant to give Nigeria debt relief if they are not
convinced that the proceeds would be judiciously applied to target areas that
will benefit the people.
President Olusegun Obasanjo has in the last two years been campaigning for debt
relief for Nigeria. Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has renewed the
campaign in the last few weeks.
But addressing newsmen in Abuja, Mullin said although the United Kingdom is
sympathetic to Nigeria’s case for debt relief, other member countries of the
Paris Club may have to be persuaded that the proceeds from debt relief will be
spent on the welfare of Nigerians.
Nigeria owes the United Kingdom $8 billion out of a total of $34 billion owed
the Paris Club made up of different nations.
“We are not in a position to forgive multilateral debt. There are other
countries and they have to be persuaded as well. We will certainly take up
Nigeria’s cause in the Paris Club, but it will be a question of persuasion and
it will be a question of Nigeria too addressing itself to the other countries.