President Muhammadu Buhari has pressed for the reallocation of the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) retains as supplementary foreign exchange reserves for its members, to enable developing economies rebalance and pursue growth, following the coronavirus pandemic.
Buhari mooted the idea at a virtual summit of heads of states and governments on financing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development in the era of COVID-19, where he was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Member-countries have been persistently requesting permission from the IMF to utilise the SDRs fund maintained from their contributions summing up to $204 billion and held for rainy day purposes like the current global economic meltdown.
It had a balance of $176 billion in August as quotas of countries yet to draw from the reserves.
“COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted our societies and economies, worsened inequalities, and deepened the gap between available resources and the resources needed to finance the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We must mobilise finance in response to this pandemic induced economic crisis and for long-term development.
“We call for enhanced global liquidity including through the reallocation of unused Special Drawing Rights currently held by developed countries,” Buhari said.
The president also expressed his backing for commercial debt relief as well as debt relief for developing nations, and prayed that the Debt Service Suspension Initiative be allowed to run till next year.
“We must act swiftly to adopt measures to ensure that taxes are paid where value is created, and this is especially important for the digital economy.
“We must also establish public beneficial ownership registers; and strengthen arrangements for the exchange of tax information.
“Similar priority should also be given to tackling money laundering and corruption,” the president said concerning the nagging issue of illicit financial flows in Nigeria, which a United Nations report on Monday noted accounts for 46% of the $89 billion illegal money outflow from Africa.
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