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Nigeria strikes deal to erase $20-billion in debt

Nigeria has struck a deal with the Paris Club of creditor countries to wipe clean two-thirds of its $30-billion (U.S.) debt and pay back the rest from its surging oil revenues, officials said yesterday. Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that Nigeria will quickly repay $6-billion dollars to the countries represented in the Paris Club, which will in turn wipe out around two-thirds of the total debt. Britain is Nigeria's biggest creditor, holding $7-billion, and has taken the lead in persuading other countries that the time has come to show support for President Olusegun Obasanjo's reform program by cancelling the loans. AFP

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