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Nigeria, African countries pushing for debt cancellation– Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments is pushing for total debt cancellation by creditor-nations and not debt relief or review.

According to Gbajabiamila, there is a clear difference between the three terms.

The Speaker, who made this known as the Day 2 of the ongoing 1st CoSAP conference in Abuja on Tuesday explained that the body would want all debts owed by African countries cancelled.

Gbajabiamila noted that this would help the countries to “reset the button to zero,” meaning they have no debts outstanding against them, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, titled ‘CoSAP seeking debt cancellation, not relief, review – Gbajabiamila…Calls for African Centre on Vaccine Research.’

Explaining the differences in the terms, the Speaker said in the case of relief or review, the debts would still be outstanding, except that there would be some alterations, adjustments or even postponement of the repayment schedules.

“We want to reset our buttons to read from zero. That is the position, and I appeal that we all support this push,” he stated.

Meanwhile, as part of his recommendation for preparing and tackling pandemics, the Speaker suggested setting aside a percentage of the health budget for vaccine research and manufacturing by African nations.

Gbajabiamila said this could also be legislated to make compliance mandatory.

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