President Muhammadu Buhari has called on European nations and global financial institutions to restructure Africa’s debt portfolios and provide complete debt relief, to reduce the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president made the call at the Financing Africa Summit held at the Grande Palais Ephemere in Paris, France, on Tuesday, with the subject: “External Financing and debt Treatment”.
He observed that many African countries were already experiencing debt distress and the debt service suspension by France and the G-20 wasn’t far-reaching enough.
Buhari added that there was a demand for more sustainable and affordable financing solutions, such as debt relief and additional debt restructuring.
He also called for the release of vaccines to Africa, which, he claimed, had been left behind protecting the majority of its citizens.
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The Nigerian leader said the fall in commodity costs as COVID-19 took a toll on the global market had additional slowed growth in some states and strained health centres.
“It’s in this vein that we solicit the aid of the French authorities, using its influence in the European Union, to give its voice to the attempts being made to mobilise additional resources for developing markets most notably in Africa, in order to strengthen the quantum of investments to our economies.
“This financial aid should also be expanded to the private industry,” he explained.
The president said the European Union should promote fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines to developed nations and promote the establishment of production centres.
As for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Buhari noted that African countries would require financial support for green energy investment and COP-26.
He said Nigeria was refocusing on gas, while embracing a Strategic Revenue Development Initiative.
On the theme of”Africa Private Sector — Reforms — Infrastructure”, the president said Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) would be fully researched to ensure more precision in evolution, cutting down waste and reducing chances of corruption.
“The government intends to leverage on Public-Private-Partnerships to bolster its job development and anti-corrupt