President Muhammad Buhari has called on ‘developed countries’ to forgive and cancel the debts owed them by poor countries in Africa to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The President made this appeal during a virtual summit of “the United Nations High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond” on Thursday, May 28, 2020.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), Buhari said it’s become necessary for weak and needy countries get reprieve.

He said, “The world has changed through COVID-19 and so must the global financing architecture for development financing and the response to the current pandemic.

“There is an urgent need for weak and needy countries especially those of Africa, to receive a fresh reprieve.

”This is a historic plague affecting every corner of the globe. In the circumstances, the response needed must be global, unconditional, comprehensive, and rapid.

“Debts must be forgiven and cancelled. Free additional resources are needed urgently through an international consensus to enable poor countries work to reverse the devastation of COVID-19 to the human race.

”Rising now and standing together in true global solidarity to my mind is the only hope for humanity, the best approach to safeguarding the 2030 SDGs and the only way we can build back for more resilient economies and societies.”

Buhari also highlighted the impact of the pandemic on the Nigerian economy and the efforts his government is making to address the situation.

He said, “For Nigeria, the shocks are multiple, including the sharp decline in international oil prices which has negatively impacted revenues and growth, worsened external and domestic positions, and further increased banking sector vulnerabilities, resulting in enormous human and economic toll on the country.

“We have been proactive in implementing a number of strong measures, including fiscal, monetary and structural policies, and a multi-front response to the health crisis created by COVID-19 which captures all tiers of Government as well as the private sector.

“Our objective is to revert to the government’s planned medium-term fiscal consolidation path once the crisis is over. Our strategy for macroeconomic stability is anchored on our home-grown Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).”