09 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The International Monetary Fund, IMF, says the current 0.8 per cent growth in the Nigerian economy in the first half of 2017 was still not sufficient to reduce unemployment and end poverty in the country.
The Bretton-Woods institution also noted that non-performing loans, NPL, across Nigerian banks have increased by more than double since 2015.
According to a statement at the end of its staff visit to Nigeria, the IMF said Nigeria’s economic challenges persist in spite of Federal Government’s implementation of a number of important measures, including Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP.
The Federal Government launched the ERGP to drive its economic diversification strategy and pull the economy out of recession.
The IMF team led by the Senior Resident Representative and Mission Chief for Nigeria, Mr. Amine Mati, was in Nigeria between July 20 and 31 to discuss recent economic and financial developments, update macroeconomic projections, and review reform implementation.
The team said MPLs have grown from six percent in 2015 to 15 percent in 2017. “Preliminary data for the first half of the year indicate significant revenue shortfalls, with the interest-payments to revenue ratio remaining high (40 percent at end-June) and projected to increase further under current policies.