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‘Swap Africa’s $450BN debt with climate change pains’

The senator representing Ondo South in the National Assembly, Jimoh Ibrahim, has asked the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to swap the pains…

The senator representing Ondo South in the National Assembly, Jimoh Ibrahim, has asked the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to swap the pains of climate change coming from the United States, United Kingdom, China, and India for Africa’s debt, particularly Nigeria.

Senator Ibrahim made the call at the Global Parliamentary forum of the World Bank/IMF on the sideline of the annual meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, presided over by the IMF deputy managing director.

Ibrahim said:  “Africa uses $50 billion to service debt every year and this is worrisome. The polluters should pay the consequences of the damage to Africa. Disaster does not require a visa to travel. If we quantify the extent of damage, we can exchange it for Africa’s debt.

“The West likes us to converge and discuss but they don’t want to sign on to the liability.”

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Ibrahim said there is a need to get to the data and determine the number of pains to Nigeria arising from generating electricity and heat by burning fossil fuels, which cause a large chunk of global emissions.

Senator Ibrahim explained that the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution by those countries causes much pain and climate effects, saying, “The Carbon polluter must be ready to pay for it, and we can easily exchange African debt for the carbon pollution.

Senator Ibrahim accused the USA, UK, China, and India as key polluters who must pay for Nigeria’s Debt in return.

He explained that the debt ratio to GDP is 235%, and Africa is servicing its debt with over $50bn annually.

In a related development, the National Assembly is considering a bill that will ensure oil companies and multinational corporations prioritise and adhere to best practices in mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change, including the aftermath of gas flaring in Nigeria.

The Senate Minority Whip, Senator Darlington Nwokocha, representing Abia Central Senatorial District, disclosed this to Daily Trust on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank annual meeting in Marrakech, Morocco.

Speaking at the end of the 2023 Global Parliamentarian Forum, Nwokocha said there is a need to weigh options and do what is best for the country.

He said the effects of climate change have been devastating on the African continent, and there is no limitation to the effect.

Nwokocha said ensuring best practices is key, adding that, “We are comparing notes and at the end of the day we are coming up with something (a bill) stronger that can lift us from where we are to greater heights.”

On the effects of climate change in Africa, he said: “It is just like when you do directional drilling, you may be causing the problem here while the effect will go viral to other places that do not contribute much to the problem.

“I think all we need to do as far as this kind of gathering is concerned from the parliament is to make sure that we institute the proper legislative instrumentality, to forestall everything that has to do with the devastation that is man-made and at the end of the day, mostly in Africa.”


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