Nigeria has been excluded from the list of 28 countries granted debt pardon by the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Naija News 247 News gathered.
The Board has approved a third tranche of grants for debt service relief for 28 member countries under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT).
This approval followed two prior tranches approved on April 13, 2020 and October 2, 2020, respectively.
In a report released yesterday, the Fund said the approval will enable the disbursement of grants from the CCRT for payment of all eligible debt service falling due to the IMF from its poorest and most vulnerable members from April 14, 2021 to October 15, 2021, estimated at SDR 168 ($238) million.
The beneficiaries of previous CCRT tranche are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and The Gambia.
Others are Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.
This tranche of grants for debt service relief will continue to help free up scarce financial resources for vital emergency health, social, and economic support to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subject to the availability of sufficient resources in the CCRT, debt service relief could be provided for the remaining period through from October 16, 2021 to April 13, 2022 amounting to a total of about SDR 680 ($964) million.
In March 2020, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva launched an urgent fundraising effort to raise $1.4 billion in grants for the CCRT.
This would enable the CCRT to provide financial assistance for relief on debt service for up to a maximum of two years, while leaving the CCRT adequately funded for future needs.
Thus far, donors have pledged contributions totaling about $774 million, including from the European Union, the UK, Japan, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, China, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, and Malta.
Executive Directors welcomed the opportunity to consider the approval of grants under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to support the third tranche of debt service relief for the Fund’s poorest and most vulnerable members.
They noted that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a severe human and economic toll on these countries and that the resources freed up by the first and second tranches of CCRT debt service relief had helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Directors agreed that the available resources and pledges are sufficient to finance the third tranche of debt service relief for the period from April 14 to October 15, 2021.
Accordingly, they approved grant assistance under the CCRT for relief for 28 eligible members that have debt service falling due during this period.
Directors concurred that countries that received the CCRT grants for debt relief are generally pursuing appropriate macroeconomic policies in response to the economic fallout from the global pandemic.
They welcomed that a number of member countries were transitioning to Upper Credit Tranche-quality arrangements which would provide a stronger policy framework for the recovery period.
Directors also observed that most countries would benefit from a resumption of Fund surveillance and updated debt sustainability assessments.
The Fund directors noted the progress made in implementing governance safeguards commitments regarding COVID-19 related spending in CCRT-eligible countries.
However, they regretted implementation delays in some countries, particularly in disclosing beneficial ownership information on entities awarded government contracts.
Directors thus underscored the importance of continued follow-through on the commitments on governance and transparency, supported if necessary, by technical assistance.
Buhari directed us to drop Osinbajo from Tinubu’s campaign – APC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said President Muhammadu Buhari, directed that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, be dropped from the Campaign Council of the party’s Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Naija News 247 had reported that Osinbajo’s name was missing from the he 422-man list realised by the Presidential Campaign Council Secretary, James Faleke, in Abuja on Friday night on Friday night.
The spokesman of the campaign, Festus Keyamo, said President Buhari asked that Osinbajo alongside Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, should not be part of the campaign council so they could focus on governance.
Keyamo disclosed this on Saturday in a statement while explaining the reason behind the decision to drop the vice president
The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.”
“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari , GCFR, is the Chairman of the Campaign Council. As a result, Mr. President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of Government. As a responsible Party and Government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May, 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.
“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country, but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”
Again, three storey building collapses in Lagos
A three storey building has collapsed on Sonuga Street, Palm Avenue, Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
According to Vanguard, an eyewitness said the incident happened at 12 noon on Friday amid heavy rainfall.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyinyolu, who confirmed the development said, “A building has collapsed in Mushin few minutes ago. The rescue operation is ongoing,” PUNCH reports.
As of the time of filing this report, it could not be established if anyone was trapped in the rubble of the collapsed structure.
However, LASEMA, and Lagos State Rescue and Fire Service, have arrived the scene on rescue victims mission.
Ayu manipulated PDP presidential primary – Wike
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyorchia Ayu, of manipulating delegates at the party’s convention for former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, to clinch the PDP presidential ticket.
The governor revealed this on Friday in an ongoing media parley.
Wike alleged that Ayu played a vital role that was detrimental to other aspirants in the emergence of Atiku as PDP flagbearer.
He said if not for the love he and others in his camp had for the main opposition party, they could have prevented the PDP convention from holding.
The governor alleged that Ayu called several presidential aspirants to step down for the former vice president during the convention.
“He was calling aspirants to withdraw for Atiku. I was there, Saraki and others were there.
“He manipulated the delegates. There was nothing Ayu did not do to ensure Wike didn’t emerge,” Wike said.
The governor added, “Meetings upon meetings were going. Pressures were being mounted on people to step down.
“Even on the night of the convention meetings were going on. That is why we started our convention late.
“Some of the retired generals were involved. Some of the meetings were held in their houses. There is nothing they didn’t do for me to step down.
“Those who know me, know that I would have stopped the convention, even if heaven falls.”
Naija News 247 had reported that Wike camp announced their plan not to participate in the campaign council which was scheduled for inauguration next Wednesday after a meeting at Wike’s private residence in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Wednesday morning.
Reacting to the withdrawal from Wike’s camp, Atiku in a statement he personally signed reiterated his decision not to interfere in the demands for Ayu’s removal.
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