Written by Ovie Akpovwa

Nigeria Doesnt Need IMF Loan

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Ms Christine Largarde has said that Nigeria doesn’t need an IMF Loan. Speaking in Abuja last week after a visit to President Mohammadu Buhari, Ms Largarde said that if the current administration continues with the determination and resilience displayed by the President and his team they won’t need an IMF loan.

She also reiterated that she is not in the country to negotiate a loan for the country as widely reported. “I am not here to negotiate a loan with conditionalities because Nigeria does not need a new IMF programme,” the IMF chief said.

L-R: Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate Leader Ibn Na’Alla, Minority Whip, Emmanuel Bwacha and Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, during a meeting with the Senate President on the Nigerian economy at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

Largarde held a close- door meeting with president Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some key ministers inside the presidential Villa during her four-day visit to Nigeria.

Speaking further, The IMF boss said economic discipline is required for the country to be sustainable. Said she: "We are not into programme negotiations and frankly at this point in time, given the determination and resilience displayed by the President and his team, I don’t see why an IMF programme will be needed. So of course, discipline is going to be needed, of course, implementation is going to be key for the objectives and the ambitions to serve the country well, in order for it to be actually sustainable.”

The IMF boss however, said that the IMF believed that with clear primary desire to support poor Nigerian, there could be added flexibility I the country monetary policy, especially if oil slump persist longer than expected. 

She however, advised that Nigeria should not deplete its reserves because of rule that would be extremely rigid but suggesting that some form of rigidity is required but argued that some degree of flexibility is also required. 

Lagarde observed that since her last visit four years ago, Nigeria had experienced a number of changes in the area of the economy and democracy. She highlighted that Nigeria, has become the largest economy in Africa with a very attractive market.

She however, regretted how things have changed and become complicated as the main source of revenue for the government which is predominantly oil had experienced drastic reduction of its price by more than half.

Commenting on her meeting with the President, said she and her team had a wonderful and excellent discussions with the President as well as discussing future challenges facing oil price reduction.

She said the IMF will be keen to assist the Federal Government in controlling revenue leakages, tracing stolen funds and restructuring its tax system.

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