US shutdown will affect Nigeria, says Okonjo-Iweala


•Okonjo-Iweala: recurrent expenses take 78 % of budget

Nigeria’s minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Thursday that the present shutdown in America, over budget row, might affect the Nigeria’s bond trading in the international market.

Okonjo-Iweala expressed this fear at a news conference on the outcome of the Commonwealth Ministers of Finance Meeting at the ongoing Annual Meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary fund in Washington DC.

The U.S. government shutdown was prompted by the Republican party that recently lost an election trying to overturn a law it did not like.

“The present situation in the U.S. creates uncertainty for developing and emerging countries and that is why we look forward to a swift resolution on the issue of debt ceiling.

“If not resolved, it could upset the market; we could see higher interest rate that will directly affect Nigeria’s bond.

“As you know, we have not only the 500 million dollar bond we floated two years ago but also the Euro bond.

“The highly successful Euro bond that we floated about three months ago and interest rate on that.

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“We could see the price and the yield of these bonds affected and that is why we need to have more certainty in the market,’’ she said.

On the outcome of the meeting, she said that major focus was on development needs of member-states and how to address the concerns whether they occurred in small or large member-countries.

She named the areas of focus to include issues on growth, job creation and increasing livelihood of the people.

“But specifically, to get there we focused on issues of financing the post 2015 development framework; we are all engaged globally on the post 2015 agenda and how to finance the goals that will come forward.

“We noted that sustainable development financing needs are enormous and there is need for additional resources, if the financing needs of the developing countries are to be met.’’

She said that the group maintained that the Official Development Assistance (ODA) remained vital and called on the international community to meet its existing ODA commitment in a time-bound manner.

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