The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, has begun a campaign for cancellation of debts of African countries.
The legislator began the move today under the umbrella of Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP).
Tagged Debt Cancellation Campaign Initiative, (DCCI, the Speaker at a roundtable at the National Assembly organised by his office in partnership with some international organisations, pleaded for debt cancellation, given the debilitating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on African economies.
Those who attended the event included the World Bank’s Country Director in Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, delegations of international development agencies operating in Nigeria such as ECOWAS, European Union and United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP); Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Gbajabiamila noted that foreign debt cancellation for African countries was topmost on CoSAP’s agenda and solicited their support to make it a reality.
“One of the main issues we are dealing with in that association is debt forgiveness in the form of debt cancellation. In other words, pressing the reset button; we made commitments, we’ve done a lot, so, we are here to take responsibility in terms of transparency and accountability. We even signed an Accountability Pledge in ensuring all freed-up resources will be spent wholly on addressing the social and economic pains our people bear,” he said.
“We consider this debt forgiveness if we do get it, as money in hand and we have to channel these towards the development of the continent.
Chaudhuri said that the issue was being discussed by the World Bank President, David Malpass, before the Group of Twenty (G20).