Let $3.3 Billion SDRs Benefit Nigerians ANEEJ Tells FG
By: Femi Mustapha
The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called on the Federal Government to ensure that the $3.3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved special drawing rights (SDRs) benefit all citizens.
The Acting Executive Director of the Network Mr Leo Atakpu stated this during a media training for Media and Civil society Organizations (CSOs) held on the 7th, of February 2024
According to him the challenge that was posed by the economic crisis and the pandemic itself across the country, and the globe the SDRs should serve as cushions to the citizens.
He added that since the country received the SDR in August of 2021 it is important for citizens, and civil society activists to interrogate the use and the utilization of the SDR by the Government.
“We want to ask our government questions because we have kept them in trust on behalf of the people. And so we are working with our partners AFRODAD, African Network in Sept and Development which are based in Harare Zimbabwean with support from the Bil and Melinda Gates Foundation to work on this project.
“We started the project by conducting research on the utilization of the SDR in Nigeria and in Ghana so we have had the course to invite stakeholders including the government to validate the research findings for Nigeria and when we assembled the result.
In his presentation the facilitator, Dr Terfa Abraham an Economist and Senior Research fellow at, the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (MILES)Abuja Special drawing rights are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund.
He added that SDRs are units of account for the IMF and not a currency per se. They represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged.
Dr Abraham added that the SDRs allocation is a significant shot in the arm for Nigeria and, if used wisely, a unique opportunity to combat the unprecedented crisis faced by countries during this period of coronavirus pandemic.
He explained that every participating country is entitled to the I.M.F. Articles of Agreement were use its Special Drawing Rights to acquire an amended and approved by the Board of equivalent amount of convertible currencies Governors, in resolution No. 23-5 adopted unconditionally for balance of payments on 31st May, 1968. Two separate accounts
for reserve needs.
Dr. Abraham however tasked the Media and CSOs with the need to ensure that the $3.3 billion SDRs Nigeria received from SDRs are used for the benefit of the people.
A participant Mrs. Emmanuella Anokam a Senior Editor, at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said she was delighted to participate in the 2-day capacity building workshop and inauguration of the campaign on Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).
“It has given me an insight on the utilisation of SDRs being allocated by IMF to member countries to address global crisis or recession.
“The workshop would deepen the knowledge of Civil Society and media activists to enable advocacy and enlighten the public on the discourse about SDRs.”