Nigeria ready to work with IMF to grow economy, says Jonathan

The Federal Government today said it was ready to work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to re-engineer and transform the country’s economy to attain its growth aspirations as envisioned in its Vision 20-2020 agenda.

Exchanging views with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, who visited him in Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan reiterated the commitment of his administration to turn things around and ensure that Nigeria becomes a much bigger player in the global economic stage.

“We are totally committed to changing things in Nigeria,” the president said. “Our vision is that by the year 2020, Nigeria will have become a much bigger player in the global economy.  We have established a good team and we will give them the full political backing they need to succeed.”

Assuring that he has assembled a credible economic team to oversee the implementation of the administration’s economic agenda, Mr. Jonathan said the team would be given all the political support it requires to ensure that the objective of significantly improving the national economy is attained.

Expressing the belief that the present IMF is different from the past, Mr. Jonathan listed areas his administration would like to collaboratw with the Fund to include poverty alleviation and job creation as well as ways of improving the country’s education and health-care delivery systems. 

“I believe we can work together constructively to achieve our aspirations in these areas,” he said.

On recent developments in the global economy, Mr. Jonathan told his guest that he had identified the IMF as a key player in the effort to resolve the ongoing crises in the world’s economy, pointing out that events in the developed economies were bound to affect developing countries.

In her response, Ms. Lagarde commended Jonathan’s agenda for national transformation, adding that the actions taken so far by his administration to ensure its effective implementation were in the right direction.

The feedback from the IMF team on Nigeria’s economic situation, according to an IMF team that recently undertook a review of the Federal Government’s economic programme was “very positive”, particularly in the areas of job creation, agriculture, power supply, education and healthcare.

Besides, the IMF boss said the team was also impressed with the administration’s fiscal and monetary policies as well as the reformation of the banking and financial services sector, and the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to put to better use the excess revenue earned from oil exports.

She however advised the Federal Government to take further steps to protect Nigerians from the adverse effects of the crises in the global economy.

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