Nigeria: ‘Not a good look’ as government fails to deliver aid
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By KIMI L. BARKER, Associated PressBOGOTA, Sept. 25 (Reuters) – The Nigerian government is continuing to push for a bailout from donors to help it deliver on pledges to invest billions of dollars in clean-up projects, as the country’s economy falters amid the worst drought in decades.
More than 60 million people still live below the poverty line, a figure that has declined to 1.5 million by the end of last year, according to the U.N. agency.
And Nigeria’s government has been slow to implement the promised billions of euros in aid.
Bilateral aid and reconstruction aid have been limited and the country has lost almost half of its land to floods, landslides and drought.
A new U.S. sanctions bill, which passed the U of N. Security Council late on Wednesday, calls for an end to the countrys assistance, which was due to be suspended after the election in 2019.
The U.K. government, which has been an early ally of Nigeria in recent years, was not in attendance on Thursday.
The Nigerian government and its international partners have faced criticism from some African countries, including Senegal, which accused them of making promises that were not delivered.
The sanctions bill also calls for the lifting of the U-turn by the government on the debt ceiling, which would mean the country could be forced to default on its loans to the International Monetary Fund, which had previously been scheduled to default.
In a statement, the U and the European Union said they agreed to lift the debt limit and the debt crisis was now resolved.
But they did not specify when the deal would be signed.
The European Union and U.C.O.I. said they would not lift the current $2.8 billion in loans to Nigeria, which is the largest single donor to Africa.
The aid deal was agreed on by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and European Union Secretary-General for Development and Development Policy, Angel Gurria.
They are due to hold a summit in Berlin later this month.
The government has also committed to the first step of a $10 billion loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and other lenders to help the economy grow.
The African Development Bank and the African Development Research Council have pledged to match the loan amount, the fund’s director-general, Richard Gertler, told Reuters in a telephone interview on Thursday, adding that the two African institutions had not yet made their decision on the total amount of aid.
“There is a lot of interest among donors in Nigeria,” he said.
“But it’s not a good idea to go ahead and raise the debt.”
The World Bank has said it expects the country to receive a total of $15 billion of its own loan to help finance clean-ups, including infrastructure, schools and health facilities.
It has also pledged to provide a loan to Nigeria for clean-water projects.
Nigeria has also said it is willing to extend loans to companies in the oil-rich northeast to help them build up their infrastructure.
By KIMI L. BARKER, Associated PressBOGOTA, Sept. 25 (Reuters) – The Nigerian government is continuing to push for a bailout…