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Nigeria and foreign creditors fail Sept debt talk

by Business News Report

Nigeria and her foreign creditors have failed to beat the September deadline for the rounding doff the debt talks on the outstanding $19.7 billion (N78.7 billion) debt being owed by Nigeria.
This follows the uncompromising attitude of some members banks and creditors agencies of the London and Paris Clubs towards reconciling debt records with Nigeria.
The finance minister, Dr. Chu Okongwu disclosed in Lagos that a breakdown of the outstanding external debt place medium and long terms loans on ($11.4 billion) N45.6 billion while the short term trade arrears is estimated at ($8.289) billion N32.9 billion.
The minister also disclosed that so far Nigeria has signed bilateral agreements with the United Kingdom, France, the Republic of Austra and the Swiss confederation. Nigeria the minister said has concluded bilateral negotiations with six others countries namely Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Netherlands. Others are Finland and the Republic of Ireland.
The minister disclosed that the interest on the rescheduled debts would be determined bilaterally between Nigeria and government of each creditors.

The minister further disclosed that the bilateral negotiations with the United States of America, Germany, Japan and Belgium are still on. He also said that negotiations will commence shortly with Italy, Spain and Canada while Nigeria is expecting the draft bilateral agreements from Israel and Brazil.
The minister further said that the agreement with the Paris Club does not apply to member countries to which Nigeria’s indebtedness in the form of Principal and Interest is less than SDR. 1.0 million.
The minister also disclosed that bulk f Nigeria external debts were contracted between 1980 and 1985. According to the minister N56 billion of the loan was contracted between September 1985 and some of the Principal repayments were due and remained unpaid to 1986.
According to the minister negotiation with the London Club of creditor banks – the private creditors had commenced during the second quarter of 1986, while those with the official creditors in the Paris Club between December 1986.
The minister further said that agreement was reached with the steering committee of the member banks of the London Club to rescheduled repayments on medium and long term debts owned them for nine years with a four year grace period, with interest of 1 1/4 per cent above London Inter Bank offered rate and a resturing fee of ¬Ω. Per cent on total rescheduled amount. Continuing the minister said that letters of credit opened before September 26, 1986 were also eligible to be rescheduled for four years with repayment in 36 equal monthly instalments, commencing on the firs business day of January 1988.

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