By Mohammed Bougei Attah
The African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) and its development partner, Africa Network for Economic and Environmental Justice (ANEEJ) on Thursday, hosted the second hybrid Conference on Debt and Development under the theme, “From Recovery to Reforms: Stop the Bleeding.”
Executive Director, ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor who spoke at the opening ceremony of the conference on Thursday, in Abuja, said the conference aims to feed into the High Level Political and Expert and Hybrid Meeting slated for later dates in August.
He charged participants identify and explore the peculiarities of debt contraction and servicing processes through the lens of public participation and oversight of some sectors, such as the National Assembly and the Debt Management Office of the Federation.
Chief of Staff to the Deputy Senate President, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, said the subject of debt and it’s management is not new to many of the participants, noting that debt has become a global issue, affecting nations across the globe.
while commending civil society organizations, particularly ANEEJ for the initiative to interrogate issues of debt, anti-corruption and other socio-economic challenges, Igbuzor expressed concern that no one is spared, stating that Africa is worse hit.
On his part, Mr. Theo Jong, the AFRODAD Director who spoke from Harare virtually, gave further credence to the opening remarks by ANEEJ Executive Director. He identified in particular, the COVID-19 pandemic as a key element that affected debt management especially as most debts were suspended during the era.
Other participants that spoke at the conference include Mr. Muhammad M. Nami, Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service and the representatives of the Minister of State for Finance and Budget Planning and Mrs. Patience Oniha, a director in the Debt Management Office.