ECONOMY: IMF Assures Of Continued Financial Aids To Nigeria

Christine Lagarde
MANAGING Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde has reassured of its commitments to continuously stand in to offer financial and general aids to the Federal Republic of Nigeria whenever the need arises.

The IMF boss who stated this during an interactive session on emerging market economies with the media however stated that the devaluation of the nation’s currency may not be the best option at the moment putting into consideration the global economic crises which is presently affecting most nations.

In response to questions centred on the possibility of Nigeria and Azerbaijan securing loans from the international body, she emphatically responded in the affirmative stating that IMF is available to assist all countries that are signatories to it including the two countries as long as such assistance is within its capacity.

“IMF remains available to all its member countries; so, the moment we are asked to help, we’ll do the best we can to help. Both countries, Azerbaijan and Nigeria have been hard hit by oil price decline shock, because their economies depend heavily on oil exports, both in terms of trade, and in term also of revenue.

“When you lose a lot of that, because the price decline was about 70%, then clearly it puts the economy under shock,” Lagarde noted.

In her comparative analysis between the two countries, Lagarde stated that Azerbaijan has viable structures in place towards tackling the economic challenges facing the nation unlike Nigeria which is yet to have a solid platform towards overcoming its anomalies.

“Policies adopted by the two countries are different; Azerbaijan has certainly taken a good fiscal approach, is reassessing spending, is really trying to restore its position, and is also using the exchange rate as a buffer.

“Nigeria is not there and we certainly hope that in terms of identification of fiscal resources, removal of oil subsidies, she can do with an exchange rate policy that is sensible, in the sense that it is not going to waste reserves.

“We have in particular indicated that a persistent pegging of the naira would not be such a good idea. So, they have to adopt their policies, they have to adopt their model, and if they need IMF’s help, we’ll be ready to help. No question about that, and no stigma associated with it. They are clearly a victim of external shock, and they have to face a response, which is a national response to that situation,” she emphasized.

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