Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Seminar

Double Standards and Debt Relief: The case for Nigerian IDA reclassification

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 - 1:30pm

On October 5, 2004 the Center for Global Development presented a discussion titled, "Double Standards and Debt Relief: The case for Nigerian IDA reclassification". The event was based upon a working paper written by Nancy Birdsall, Todd Moss and Scott Standley. You can view the full text of the paper here.

Birdsall and Moss argued that Nigeria should be allowed to pursue reduction of its $33 billion in external debt through the same mechanisms available to other countries with similar income and development characteristics. In order to do so, however, Nigeria needs reclassification within the World Bank from ‘blend’ to ‘IDA-only’ status. Given that the country has not borrowed from IBRD for the past eleven years, this would merely recognize what is already de facto the case. Nigeria clearly qualifies as IDA-only based on its low income level and its lack of creditworthiness. Its record of policy performance appears to be the final barrier, but Nigerian performance is not unique relative to three African comparator groups: the current IDA-only pool, previous reverse-graduates, and the IDA-only oil producers. Nigeria has strong grounds for requesting a re-classification as IDA-only—and receiving the fair consideration of its external debt that such a change implies.

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attended the event and participated in the discussion.