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Nigeria: President Buhari at UNGA, wants debt cancellation, knocks sit-tight African leaders

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In his last address at the United Nations General Assembly, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari called for debt cancellation for poor and developing countries.

President Buhari made the position while addressing world leaders at the 77th session of the Assembly asking them to address what he described as the burden of unsustainable external debts.

Buhari said, “Nigeria, therefore, implores our global partners to do more to complement our endeavours. Indeed the multi-faceted challenges facing most developing countries have placed the ability to address their fiscal place,” he said.

“This equally calls for the need to address the burden of unsustainable external debts by a global commitment to the expansion and extension of the debt service suspension initiative to countries facing fiscal and liquidity challenges as well as outright cancellation for countries facing the most severe challenges.”

Nigeria’s public debt profile has risen significantly under Buhari. The World Bank Fiscal 2022 audited financial statements for International Development Association (IDA), revealed the country now owes a debt stock of $13bn as of June 30, 2022.

That makes the West African country the fourth position on the World Bank’s list of countries with the highest debts.

Buhari, who is due to leave office next May after completing a second as a civilian president, promised free and fair elections when the country elects his successor in February.

He also criticized fellow leaders who extend term limits to cling to power, stressing that sit-tight syndrome by some African leaders has a “corrosive” effect.

“We believe in the sanctity of constitutional term limits and we have steadfastly adhered to it in Nigeria. We have seen the corrosive impact on values when leaders elsewhere seek to change the rules to stay on in power,” said Buhari.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the main policy-making organ of the Organization. Comprising all Member States, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations. Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations has an equal vote.

Politics

Nigeria Decides: Ruling party candidate, Bola Tinubu, missing as political parties sign peace pact

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As the 2023 presidential elections draw closer in Nigeria, leading candidates have signed an accord toward a peaceful electioneering process.

The symbolic pact is organized by the National Peace Committee (NPC), chaired by Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former military Head of State.

In attendance were candidates of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, flagbearer of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP); and Omoyele Sowore, standard bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC), were present at the event.

However, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not present but was represented on Thursday by his running mate, Kashim Shettima.

The pact is symbolic as most elections in Africa are often characterized by violence. The timeliness of the pact is rife as the 2023 electoral season officially began on Wednesday, 27 of September which marks the commencement of political campaigns.

In April 2022, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a report said more than 1,149  persons, including INEC employees and security officers, were killed in the three elections held in 2011, 2015, and 2019.

According to INEC, ballot papers, cubicles, and other materials were similarly destroyed.

As Nigerians hope to turn their lot at the next elections, they would also hope to be alive to witness the change, the outcomes depend on them, the public.

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Kenya: President Ruto unveils cabinet, appoints ex-central bank governor, Njuguna Ndung’u, as finance minister

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In Kenya, former central bank governor, Njuguna Ndung’u has been appointed as finance minister as the East African country battles rising inflation, a heavy debt burden, and drought.

The Kenyan President, William Ruto who was recently sworn in made the announcement on Tuesday when unveiling members of his cabinet.

“Today, I am proud to announce the men and women who will serve in the Cabinet of the Republic of Kenya. It is important we set up the new Cabinet early to take charge and realize the plans and agenda we promised to the people of Kenya.

“I also appreciate the political parties that joined us, UDA, to form the Kenya Kwanza alliance. From Ford-Kenya to Maendeleo Chap Chap and others,” Ruto stated.

The president also announced that his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua will deputize him in all duties which will be gazetted upon the issue of an Executive Order.

 

See the full list below:

  1. Prime Cabinet Secretary – Musalia Mudavadi
  2. CS Interior – Professor Kithure Kindiki
  3. Treasury and Social Planning – Njuguna Ndung’u
  4. Public Service – Aisha Jumwa
  5. Defence – Aden Duale
  6. Water and Sanitation – Alice Wahome
  7. Foreign Affairs – Alfred Mutua
  8. Trade, Investment, and Industry – Moses Kuria
  9. East African Community – Rebecca Miano
  10. Transport and Roads – Kipchumba Murkome
  11. Environment – Soipan Tuya
  12. Lands and Housing – Zachariah Njeru
  13. Tourism – Peninah Malonza
  14. Agriculture – Mithika Linturi
  15. Health – Susan Nakhumicha
  16. ICT – Eliud Owalo
  17. Education – Ezekiel Machogu
  18. Energy and Petroleum – Davis Chirchir
  19. Sports – Ababu Namwamba
  20. Cooperatives – Simon Chelugui
  21. Mining – Salim Mvurya
  22. Labour and Social Protection – Florence Florence Bore
  23. Advisor on women’s rights – Harriet Kigai
  24. Advisor on National Security advisor- Monica Juma
  25. Attorney General – Muturi Njoka
  26. Secretary to the cabinet- Mercy Wanjao

The new finance minister, Professor Ndung’u, is an economics expert who led the central bank between 2007 and 2015. He is renowned for presiding over the expansion of the financial sector and condemnation for prioritizing growth over price stability in 2011.

The president reiterated that the cabinet was formed with the understanding of the dire economic situation the East African country currently faces.

“We appreciate that we have a difficult economic situation on our hands,” the president said as he unveiled his cabinet.

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