What I Will Tell Nigeria Finance Minister At Our Meeting, Says IMF Chief

 

From Nik Ogbulie’s MONEY REPORT, in Bali

 

Ms Christien Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, has called on the Nigerian government to aim for higher non-oil revenue mobilization beyond the current five percent of GDP to enable it address human capital development of its citizens.

Fielding questions from Nigerian journalists on the sidelines of the ongoing 4-Day annual World Bank conference in Bali, Indonesia, she stated the current domestic revenue mobilization of five per cent GDP by the Federal Government “was just too low to take the country to where it should be in order to address issues of health, education, social services” of the people.

She expressed delight in the appointment of another female as Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, for the country and looked forward to meeting her at the conference.

Asked “in about five months’ time, we will be going into a general election. If you are to meet with the new Finance Minister today, what advice will you be telling her? What recommendations will you be making for her?, she relied frankly:

“First, let me make a point of observation. I am delighted that Nigeria has appointed, yet again, a female Finance Minister, and I welcome the meeting that I will have with her. But if she was to ask me, what is our policy recommendation? I would certainly start with a tight monetary policy, higher non‑oil revenue mobilization.

“I remind you—you know that probably inside‑out—that domestic revenue mobilization is 5 percent of GDP in Nigeria, and that is just way too low, relative to where Nigeria should be in order to address the issues of health, education, proper social spending on the people, and particularly the young people of Nigeria. That would certainly be a very strong recommendation that I would give her: And structural reforms that would probably include really making sure that the refineries and the oil equipment that is available in Nigeria works well and works for the benefit of Nigeria. That would be my recommendation.”:

 

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