SHOCKING: Addressing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the UN discussion, the former minister of environment in Nigeria, Amina Mohammed, expressed great concern about the rising debt in Nigeria and Africa.
The deputy secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, said the former two-time minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, sacrificed time to get Nigeria out of debt but regretted that the country is fully back to greater levels of debt.
Amina said that the UN and IMF must have better conversations on the demands of a growing economy, seeking ways to make growth better and inclusive.
“Public resources are always going to be important, and so is ODA and the private sector. But I think we still haven’t yet got quite the solution and I hope that the work we do together will open up that space to think more on how to leverage that,” she said.
She said that some of the concerns that came up from the meeting that was held in China recently and reports that were gotten shows that the debt issues are really big, referencing the experienced of Ngozi (Okonjo-Iweala) to get debt relief.
“It took her some years to convince people and we are now back again in my country with a greater level of debt that is worrying but its happening all over Africa; is that the way we want to go?
“I think we really need to sit down and have a better conversation about all the needs of a growing economy to succeed because stability is needed across our countries and where we are working.”
In the conversation with Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, Mohammed, had agreed with Lagarde that Okonjo-Iweala was very influential in the debt relief that Nigeria secured in 2006.
Before 2005, Nigeria had an external debt stock of $36 billion, which had been carried over from the military years, dating back to 1985.
In October 2005, with Okonjo-Iweala as finance minister, Nigeria, and the Paris Club announced a final agreement for debt relief worth $18 billion and an overall reduction of Nigeria’s external debt stock by $30 billion.
The deal was completed on April 21, 2006, when Nigeria made its final payment and its books were cleared of any Paris Club debt, bringing Nigeria’s external debt profile to just $3 billion while domestic debt was only about N1 trillion.
As at June 30, 2018, Nigeria’s total debt profile, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO), had risen to $73.21 billion or N22.38 trillion.
The mother of six also spoke about every one of the seventeen goals that make up the SDGs as her children, saying that all were equally important for the future of the world.
Mohammed stated that “the average age of entry into the United Nations is 45”, adding that the UN is working hard to change this and include young people in its working process