Hold government accountable for SDRs allocation, ANEEJ tells Nigerians

Hold government accountable for SDRs allocation, ANEEJ tells Nigerians

By: Femi Mustapha

A group under the auspices of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called on Nigerians to hold their government accountable for the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocations and ensure it works for the ordinary citizens who are in most need of various government’s social and developmental services.

The Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, asserted this during a two-day national workshop on Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) organized for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as “Tracking Special Drawing Rights Funds and Raising Citizens Voices to end Debt Crisis in West Africa,” held in Abuja.

He explained that the project is being implemented by ANEEJ, in collaboration with the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, ACEP, Ghana, with support from the Open Society Foundation.

Rev. Ugolor, represented by the Deputy Executive Director (DED) of ANEEJ, Mr. Leo Atakpu, said the country needs organized movements, Civil Society, and media that will engage the government to drive home recommendations from the research conducted to evaluate the utilization of the SDR allocation to Nigeria in 2021.

He added that there is a need for CSOs to actively engage in the conversation around rechanneling of SDRs from rich countries to countries that are in most need of them, including Nigeria.

“My dear colleagues and comrades, you will recall that at the peak of the Covid, Climate, and Economic crisis in 2021, the Board of the International Monetary Fund approved the release of $650 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to help boost the liquidity of member countries.

“African countries received US$33.8 billion, out of which Nigeria received $3.35 billion as its share. There are concerns that the allocation of the 2021 SDR was insufficient to support post-Covid economic recovery, especially for low-income countries like Nigeria.

“Furthermore, there have been some specific proposals in the amount of SDR on-lending, which include: the French President’s call at the Summit on the Financing of African Economies to reallocate 100 billion SDRs to African countries;

“The request by six African Heads of State to on-lend at least 25% of the new SDR issuance, equivalent to US$ 162 billion, to boost the COVID-19 recovery and contribute to the fight against the climate crisis and;

“A request by the Ministers of Finance of Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, and Nigeria for G20 to consider on-lending at least US$ 30 billion in SDRs to a new facility that would catalyze investments in Africa, reduce liquidity premiums on middle-income countries’ sovereign bonds, and incentivize environmentally sustainable investments,” said.

It would be recalled that SDR is an international reserve asset created by the United Nations specialized agency to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. According to the IMF, SDR allocation is cost-free and does not add to any country’s public debt burden.

“Nigeria will receive $3.35 billion as its SDRs allocation,” according to the IMF quota.

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