President Buhari Decries That Heavy Debt Burdens Have Prevented Growth

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday lamented the negative consequences that heavy debt burdens were having on the Global South, alleging that they had stalled several countries’ growth aspirations.

While speaking at the Global South Virtual Summit from the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the President urged the heads of state to agree on a shared agenda on steps to decrease the mounting burden of debt and inflation in that region of the world.

According to a statement made by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President expressed hope that the gathering, which was hosted by India in its capacity as the voice of the South, will address issues related to climate change, food security, and access to energy.

The president was quoted as saying: “This huge debt burden has significantly derailed many countries’ development plans. The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia/Ukraine conflict has further aggravated the situation.

“In this regard, I wish to advise fellow leaders to agree on a common agenda to enable us to put forward our collective demands to the Global North through India as the voice of the South.

“I would urge India to further intensify efforts to facilitate the flow of Foreign Direct Investment to the Global South using its leverage as President of G20.”

President Buhari expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, for inviting him to attend the summit. He also noted that the Global South was motivated by historical ties and a strong sense of solidarity in its efforts to close the gap between the South and the North.

He praised the initiative behind holding the summit with the title: “The Voice of the Global South” under the heading “Unity of Voice and Unity of Purpose.”

He praised India for becoming the voice of the Global South, pointing to its contributions during its two terms on the UN Security Council and its humanitarian efforts during the Covid-19 outbreak.

President Buhari continued: “Excellencies, it is in line with the vision of One Earth, One Family, One Future that India calls for this Summit, bringing together leaders of the South to share their perspectives and priorities on a common platform ahead of the G20 Summit later this year.

“Nigeria is in full support of this noble initiative and hopes that the outcome of the Summit will be given the top priority at the G20 meetings.”

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