Tuesday, 5 January 2016

IMF boss, Christine Lagarde discusses low oil price and need for fiscal discipline with President Buhari

Christine Lagarde and President Buhari
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, on Tuesday visited President Muhammadu Buhari, where they discussed among other things the dwindling price of oil in the international market.
“We discussed the challenges ahead, stemming from the oil price reduction, the necessity to apply fiscal discipline and the need to respond to the population needs”, she said while briefing journalists at the State House, Abuja.
She noted that this could be done by “addressing the medium term necessity of improving competitiveness of Nigeria and yet focusing on the short term fiscal situation, which requires that revenue sources be identified in order to compensate the shortfall resulting by the oil price decline”.
The former French Finance Minister further noted that “oil is not the major contributor to Nigeria’s GDP; its only about 14 per cent” restating the fact that “it is a big source of revenue for the government”.
The meeting, according to Ms Lagarde, also discussed issues including how more efficiency, more transparency, better accountability and enlarging the base of revenue can be used for “a sound budget going forward”.

She also noted that there has been a massive democratic change in Nigeria compared to her last visit.

Christine Lagarde arrived Nigeria on Monday for a four-day official visit.

The meeting is expected to help strengthen the IMF’s partnership with the largest economy in Africa and to discuss how to address Nigeria’s economic challenges and the impact of low oil prices.

According to a statement by the IMF, “Mrs Lagarde believes that Nigeria is working hard to improve its business environment, promote opportunities for growth in the private sector and strengthen social cohesion and all areas where government has an important role to play.”
Christine Lagarde and President Buhari's economic team
Credit: Channels

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