2023: ANEEJ tasks Buhari, presidential candidates on plans for $3.5 billion SDR allocated to Nigeria by IMF
By: Femi Mustapha
Barley 24 hours to the Presidential and National Assembly Elections, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and all the Presidential candidates planning to take over from him to tell Nigerians their plans to utilize the $3.4 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocated to Nigeria by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since August 2021.
The Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor make the Charge in a statement made available to the media.
Rev Ugolor revealed that the $3.5 billion allocated to Nigeria since 2021 is lying idle unutilized.
He wondered why Nigeria’s SDR allocation of the Fund to cushion the impact of Covid-19, global economic crunch and Climate crisis on citizens of the country is unutilized.
The Environment and Economic Justice advocate equally expressed concern that since the allocation in 2021, the Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed has not told Nigerians anything about the utilization of the country’s $3.5 billion SDR allocation from the IMF.
Ugolor stated further: “Since the commencement of campaigns by all the Presidential candidates they have been clear enough in speaking to the issues of over N44 trillion debt burden of Nigeria but none of them even knows that Nigeria received $3.5 billion SDR allocation from the IMF.”
“We challenge Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People Party (NNPP), and in deed all other presidential candidates for Saturday’s polls to tell Nigerians their plans to utilize the $3.5billion Special Drawing Rights allocated to Nigeria by the Board of the IMF if they emerge as president and if unutilised by President Muhammadu Buhari before the end of his tenure in May 2023,” the ANEEJ Executive Director demanded.
It will be recalled that as a direct response to the plight of addressing the economic crisis unleashed by the pandemic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board of Governors in August 2021 approved a general allocation of $650bn Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to help boost the liquidity of member countries. $420bn was allocated to advanced economies. African countries received about US$33.8 billion of which Nigeria got $3.5 billion, which has been sitting idle unutilized even in the face of growing hardship amongst citizens of the country.
Nigeria’s Debt Management Office puts the total Public Debt Stock at USD US$100. 07bnasat 31 March 2022. Nigeria is currently grappling with a serious debt crisis, which has taken centre stage of campaigns by almost all the political parties but they all know nothing about the SDR allocation from the IMF and how it can be utilized.