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IMF recommends stronger policies for Nigeria’s troubled economy

NIGERIA – The International Monetary Fund has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to adopt stronger policies to help the country’s economy which the multi-lateral financial institution described as weak.

The financial lender said this in October during the unveiling of the World Economic Outlook report released in Washington DC.

It also said there was a need for the government to come up with measures to boost the non-oil revenue in order to spend more on social safety programmes.

While speaking during the launch of the report titled, ‘Global manufacturing downturn, rising trade barriers’ IMF Economic Counsellor, Gita Gopinath, described per capital growth in Nigeria as weak, adding that strong measures were needed to lift the growth into positive territory.

Some of the measures highlighted by Gopinanth include the need to implement stronger reforms to boost the current level of infrastructure in the country so as to facilitate trade.

The IMF further noted that there was need for the country to unify the its exchange rate system in order to avoid situations where public and private sector decisions are distorted due to uncertainties.

Oya Celasun, the Chief of the World Economic Studies Division of the IMF’s Research Department said that foreign exchange restrictions had been distorting private and public sector decisions as well as holding back investments.

Under the exchange rate system, the Central Bank of Nigeria has Investors and Exporters Forex Window; the CBN official rate; the parallel market rate; the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales and the wholesale SMIS.

Celasun said there was a need for the monetary authorities to strengthen the banking sector resilience, while the fiscal authority should implement stronger structural reforms.

The structural reforms, according to her, should focus on infrastructure, power and broader governance.

In terms of world economic outlook, the Fund projected that the global economy would grow at its slowest pace since the global financial crisis of 2008.

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