Buhari Begs World Leaders for Debt Cancellation
By Adedapo Adesanya
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to world leaders for the debt cancellation of poor countries, emphasising that the people of these nations face numerous challenges, including being able to service external debts.
Speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Mr Buhari asked the world leaders to address what he described as the burden of unsustainable external debts.
This is coming at a time when Nigeria’s debt increased by 2.98 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis to N42.84 trillion ($103.1 billion) in June 2022 from N41.60 trillion ($100.07 billion) in March 2022. The country’s total external debt stock out of this was 39 per cent, amounting to $40.06 billion (N16.61 trillion).
“Nigeria, therefore, implores our global partners to do more to complement our endeavours. Indeed the multi-faceted challenges facing most developing countries have placed the ability to address their fiscal place,” he said.
“This equally calls for the need to address the burden of unsustainable external debts by a global commitment to the expansion and extension of the debt service suspension initiative to countries facing fiscal and liquidity challenges as well as outright cancellation for countries facing the most severe challenges,” he added.
Mr Buhari told the world leaders that he would be addressing the diplomatic community as President for the last time, underpinning that by this time next year, Nigeria will have a new president representing her.
He vowed to entrench a process of free, fair, transparent, and credible elections through which Nigerians elect leaders of their choice.
The President also reiterated his commitment to constitutional term limits and Nigeria’s effort to promote the rule of law and democracy in West Africa, citing the country’s support to The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Chad during their political impasse.
“Indeed, we now are preparing for general elections in Nigeria next February. At the 78th UNGA, there will be a new face at this podium speaking for Nigeria.
“Ours is a vast country strengthened by its diversity and its common values of hard work, enduring faith, and a sense of community. We have invested heavily to strengthen our framework for free and fair elections. I thank our partners for all the support that they have provided for our elections.
“As President, I have set the goal that one of the enduring legacies I will like to leave is to entrench a process of free, fair, and transparent credible elections through which Nigerians elect their choice,” Mr Buhari said.