President Muhammadu Buhari has advocated for the reallocation of unused International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve assets, also known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), currently held by developed countries, to support recovery efforts in developing economies.
He made the call in view of the urgent financing needs and advanced sustainable development needs of developing countries in the era of COVID-19.
The President, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, spoke yesterday at a virtual high-level meeting of Heads of State and Government on financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond.
The SDR is an international reserve asset created by IMF to supplement its member-countries’ official reserves. The facility was designed to help in stabilising the global economy during financial shocks and IMF member-countries had previously contributed to make up the reserve totalling about $204 billion.
Since the global financial shocks that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, some developing countries, including Nigeria, had called for their contributions. However, as at last month, there was still an estimated $176 billion balance from the assets belonging to developed countries, who have not used their contributions.
The President’s position during the high-level UN meeting was disclosed in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande.
According to the President, “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.”
He added that “the increased flow of remittances can support development financing needs. So, it is important to reduce the costs of making such transfers.”
The high-level meeting, convened by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, had in attendance leaders across the world, including President Buhari, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, among others who made presentations virtually.
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