Abuja - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised that Nigeria's financial sector should be repositioned to boost growth by improving lending to the real sector and the overall terms of business in Nigeria.
The Managing Director, IMF, Christine Lagarde said this on Wednesday in Abuja while briefing the press on the outcome of her meeting with the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Banker's committee.
Lagarde said the stability and sustainability of the Nigerian economy was the main thrust of discussion.
"From my perspective it was a very productive meeting, we had the chance to exchange and consider how the system can improve further.
"We had a chance to debate together on how the financial sector can better contribute to the economy and support business development and growth in Nigeria.
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"The Financial sector of Nigeria is strong and solid and it needs to continue to be so. However, it also needs to lend to the real economy and to provide good terms of business," she said.
Similarly, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said during the discussion, Lagarde gave her support to the effort of the bank in stabilising the economy.
"She also tried to encourage our Nigerian banks to continue to support the real sector and the small scale enterprises in Nigeria.
"Also, they should try as much as possible to do those lending activities at a very concessionary pricing just like we are doing.
"And indeed the banks themselves gave their word to support this, notwithstanding the risk as well as some of the challenges that we have in the environment," he said.
Aafter the meeting, Lagarde, accompanied by management staff of the CBN and Ministry of Finance, proceeded to Mother Theresa's Children's home where she donated $7 500 to the orphanage.
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"This is my second visit to Nigeria as head of the IMF and every occasion I have privately visited presidents, members of governments, governors of central banks and legislators.
"But nothing is as heart touching as a visit like this one.
"The future of Nigeria is bigger than its past but the future is to invest in youth education and that future is to ensure that no child is left behind.
"So please keep doing what you are doing and we at the IMF we care about the youth and we care about those who are left beside the road.
"And it is as a result of this that I am on behalf of the IMF is making this donation of $7 500 and that translates to about N1.5 million," she said.