How Nigeria can overcome its economic challenges — IMF + video


The International Monetary Fund has advised Nigeria on how it can overcome its economic challenges.
The advice was given on Tuesday at the presentation of the World Economic Outlook by the IMF at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings 2019 in Washington DC, United States of America.
The Chief Economist and Director of the Research Department of IMF, Gita Gopinath, and the Division Chief of the Research Department, Oya Celasun, spoke specifically to the Nigeria situation based on a question by a Nigerian journalist at a press briefing.
Gopinath said: “In the case of Nigeria, a lot depends upon oil prices and oil prospects.
“And there has been some weakness coming from that.
“The important thing to keep in mind about Nigeria is that per capita growth remains weak.
“And that is why we call for structural reforms.”
Speaking to the Nigeria situation, Celasun said the country needed a comprehensive package to lift growth.
She listed this to include stronger non-oil revenue mobilisation, tight monetary policy and a simpler, unified exchange rate.
She said: “There was a slight upward revision for growth this year that came mostly from strong production early in the year.
“But growth is not high enough to lift – to turn per capita growth into positive territory, as Gita said.
“For some time now, we have been emphasising the need for a comprehensive package to lift growth.
“One element of that will have to be stronger non-oil revenue mobilisation.
“Nigeria has one of the lowest rates of revenue in the world, which was hit hard by the drop in oil prices.
“That is essential for the country to be able to spend more on priorities such as social safety and infrastructure.
“Other areas are the need for a tight monetary policy and a simple unified exchange rate system.
“Foreign exchange restrictions have also been distorting public and private sector decision and holding back investment.
“More generally, as you mentioned, strengthening the banking system resilience and continued stronger structural reforms, especially in infrastructure and the power sector and broader governance are critical.”