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Economy & Politics

China exempts some African countries from debt repayment

China is also willing to give priority to Africa once the COVID-19 vaccines are ready for use.



China has announced its plan to exempt some African countries from repaying the zero-interest-rate loans that are due at the end of this year. It is also willing to provide further support, including loan maturing extensions, to free up funds needed to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

This was disclosed by the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, during a video conference with African leaders. This initiative adds to an earlier one by the Group of 20 leading economies to suspend payments for low-income countries that are in deep economic crises due to the coronavirus disease.

READ ALSO: African nations sitting on debt volcano

According to the Chinese President, “China hopes that the international community, especially developed countries and multilateral financial institutions, will act more forcefully on debt relief and suspension for Africa.”

Other leaders that took part in this summit include the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Adhanom Ghebreyesus. This comes as China tries to deflect criticisms over the initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and get global support for its response to the virus.

READ MORE: Paris Club: Debt payments suspended for Chad, Ethiopia, Pakistan and DRC in $1.1 billion waiver

The Chinese President added that China is also willing to give priority to African countries once the COVID-19 vaccines are ready for use. It will ensure that countries in the continent are among the first to benefit from any coronavirus vaccine it develops, although no further details were provided.

This is seen as a way for China to get back to the good books of African countries after allegations of indecent treatment and discrimination against Africans in Guangzhou by the authorities. The ties between China and African countries, including Nigeria, were strained over stringent health restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Nigerian authorities on their part had to summon the Chinese envoy to Nigeria to express their displeasure over such treatments of Nigerians living in China.

China, however, rejected such claims and vowed to ease health measures on Africans in the city.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]



  1. Aloh

    June 18, 2020 at 10:38 am

    That’s a wonderful write up but just that I see anti-china rethoric
    We all work with facts and evidence. Claiming that China is trying to deflect the blame of its handling of the corona virus sounds bias to me. Pls get more facts about the discrimination and the covid-19 outbreak part.

  2. Oparaeche N.

    June 19, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    China has suffered such a huge setback in African in recent times that an outright debt cancellation may be required to regain its previous standing.

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Economy & Politics

CBN extends Covid-19 forbearance for intervention loans by another 12 months

CBN will continue to charge an interest rate of 5% for its intervention loans for another 1 year.



New CBN guidelines ban MMOs, PSPs, Operators from receiving diaspora remittances

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced an extension of its regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of its intervention facilities by another 12 months.

In a circular signed by Dr. Kevin Amugo, the Director of Financial Policy and Regulatory. the apex bank said it will continue to charge its borrowers an interest rate of 5% per annum as against the 9% originally offered. The CBN had on March 20th reduced the interest rates on its intervention loans from 9% to 5% as part of its response to the economic crunch brought on by Covid-19 induced lockdowns.

The CBN also offered to rollover moratorium granted on all principal payments on a case by case basis. All credit facilities had been granted a one-year moratorium starting from march 1, 2020 when the pandemic first gripped Nigeria.

READ: Analysing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Dollar Remittance Policy

See excerpt from Circular

“The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from 9% to 5% per annum for one-year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Nigerian economy.”

Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.

Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:
1) The extension by another twelve (12) months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities;

2) The roll-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.

READ: Nigeria attracts more FDI than FPI for the first time in 4 years

What this means

Companies who secured intervention funds from the CBN or through any of its on-lending banks will continue to service the loans at an interest rate of 5% per annum instead of 9%.

  • They can also get another year of not needing to pay back the principal sum collection. However, they will need to apply.
  • Whilst this move helps the small businesses continue to manage their cash flow, it means the CBN will record a reduction in its income extended under such facility.
  • Regulatory forbearance is a widely adopted concept during an economic crunch and it is meant to help stimulate businesses. These pronouncements if implemented will only affect those who borrow from the CBN or BOI but those who do not will miss out.
  • Download the circular here.

READ: CBN discloses conditions for assessing N100 billion credit facility, addresses ‘process problems’


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Economy & Politics

Senate endorses ex-Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors

The Senate has confirmed President Buhari’s nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.



The Nigerian Senate has endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.

This was confirmed during Tuesday’s plenary session and announced in a social media statement by the Nigerian Senate.

Their confirmation follows the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa.

According to reports, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, however, questioned the nomination and confirmation of the ex-service chiefs when the Senate had on 3 different occasions called for their sack.

Senator Abaribe also raised issues on the petitions against the former service chiefs and questioned why they were dismissed without explanations.

But Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.

In his concluding statement, the Senate President, Senator Lawan added that these nominees that have just been confirmed have served this country to the best of their abilities. He appealed to the executive to make sure they use their experience as military men to the best.

“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Lawan said.

Lawan, on behalf of the senate, wished them a very successful career in their capacity as Non-Career Ambassadors.

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this month that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval as non-career Ambassadors-Designate.
  • Their appointment came barely a week after their retirement as service chiefs and their replacement with new ones.
  • This led to a spate of criticisms from some Nigerians who felt that the nation’s security situation got worse under their watch.
  • They were reported to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the increasing rate of insecurity across the country.

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