Abuja - Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has described her visit to Nigeria as productive and instructive.
Her four-day tour ended Thursday ahead of a visit to Cameroon.
“My visit to Nigeria has been extremely fruitful and informative,” Lagarde said.
She thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for meeting her to discuss Nigeria’s achievements and its outlook.
Lagarde also thanked Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, and Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for their insights.
Also read: Lagarde confident of Nigeria's economic revival
“In addition, I had the honor to address members of the National Assembly, chaired by Honorable Bukola Saraki,” she said.
She said in the meetings with the authorities, they discussed how to maintain economic progress while making the transition towards more inclusive and sustainable growth.
“Poverty, inequality, and unemployment levels remain too high, in addition to the challenge of the Boko Haram insurgency,” Lagarde said
She noted Nigeria also has to deal with the difficulties presented by falling oil prices, reduced emerging market demand, and tightening global financial conditions.
This has led to sharply lower export earnings and government revenues.
The non-oil sector has also been affected.
“Against this background, we discussed a range of policy recommendations related to improving the competitiveness of the economy.”
This includes focus on infrastructure, where power, transportation, and housing are key. It also includes identifying ways to broaden the revenue base, particularly to create additional fiscal and the need for careful decisions on borrowing, public spending, and managing the cost of fuel subsidies.
Lagarde complimented the authorities on their efforts to address corruption.
In conclusion, she thanked the government and people of Nigeria for their welcome and warm hospitality.
“The IMF remains Nigeria’s committed partner as it moves forward to face the challenges of the future.”
- CAJ News