IMF laments Nigeria’s weak per capita growth

Oct 16, 2019

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concerns that Nigeria’s per capita growth is weak, adding that strong measures were needed to move the growth into positive territory.

It equally called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to unify the country’s exchange rate system in order to avoid situations where public and private sector decisions were distorted due to uncertainties.

The global body 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.

The IMF gave these pieces of advice Tuesday during the unveiling of the World Economic Outlook report released in Washington DC.

The report titled, ‘Global manufacturing downturn, rising trade barriers’, was unveiled by the IMF Economic Counsellor, Gita Gopinath, and the Chief of the World Economic Studies Division of the IMF’s Research Department, Oya Celasun.

The Fund also urged the Federal Government to implement stronger reforms to boost the current level of infrastructure in the country.

Decrying the nation’s weak per capital growth, Gopinath said there was a need for structural reforms to address the weak per capital growth.

On measures that can be taken to address the imbalance, Celasun said foreign exchange restrictions had been distorting private and public sector decisions as well as holding back investments.

According to Celasun, 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.

She said: “Nigeria has one of the lowest rates of revenue in the world and this is hit hard by drop in oil prices. That is essential for the country to spend more on priorities, such as social safety and infrastructure.

“Other areas are the need for a tight monetary policy and a simpler unified exchange rate system. Foreign exchange restrictions have also been distorting public private and public sector decisions and holding back investments.”

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