Transparency, rule of law crucial to Nigeria’s growth – IMF

*Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director.

*Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

10 January 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja –
The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has hailed Nigeria’s fight against corruption, saying transparency and rule of law was crucial to the nation’s growth.

Managing Director of the Fund, Ms. Christine Lagarde, back to work in Washington D.C., United States, after her three-day visit to Nigeria, also commended the country over efforts to create a culture of transparency within the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

According to her, “transparency and the rule of law will be crucial in reducing constraints to the country’s growth”.
Lagarde made particular mention of government’s decision to publish monthly data on the finances and operations of the NNPC as she noted a range of issues the nation must address in order to come out of the quagmire created by falling oil prices across the globe.

“Nigeria 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 and financing for investment is hard to come by,” the IMF boss stated.

She continued: “Against this background, we (during meeting with Nigerian officials) discussed a range of policy recommendations related to improving the competitiveness of the Nigerian economy. This includes focusing on the critical area of infrastructure, where power, transportation, and housing are especially key.

“It also includes identifying ways to broaden the revenue base, particularly to create additional fiscal space to offset the impact of lower oil prices; and the need for careful decisions on borrowing, public spending, and managing the cost of fuel subsidies – with a view to safeguarding priority social sectors and the most vulnerable groups”.

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