Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Funds in her Tuesday, January 6, 2015 meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja said that the organisation is currently in Nigeria because it is willing to help the Federal Government in tracing stolen funds, rectifying revenue leakages, and restructuring the tax system.
According to a statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Lagarde is on a four-day working visit in Nigeria.
Below are the 5 major points she made;
1. IMF is not here to negotiate loans
“Let me make it clear that I am not here (in Nigeria) nor is my team in this country to negotiate a loan with conditionality. We are not into programme negotiations and frankly at this point in time, given the determination and resilience displayed by the President and his team, I don’t see why an IMF programme will be needed."
2. Oil is not the major source of Nigeria's GDP
“Oil is not the major contributor to the Nigerian GDP, it is only about 40 per cent; but it is a big source of revenue for the government."
3. Team of Economists coming to Nigeria next week
“It is not for me here and now to actually approve or comment on the budget because we have procedures in the IMF under which a team of economists is going to come next week actually to do what we call the Article 4, which is to review and have good discussion with partners – the IMF on one hand, and the country’s authorities on the other hand."
4. Aim of the meeting with Buhari is to assess finance situations in Nigeria
“This is to really assess whether financing is in place, whether the debt is sustainable, whether the borrowing costs are sensible and what strategy should be put in place in order to address challenges going forward.”
“We will be discussing issues of fiscal discipline, financing monetary policies and the degree of flexibility, with the fact that Nigeria with a vibrant large economy, still has to deal with poor people, a lot of inequality and those two components should certainly be the drivers of reforms."
5. Buhari's determination to fight corruption is an ambitious goal
"The President's determination to fight corruption and bring about transparency and accountability at all levels of the economy is an important agenda and a very ambitious goal that needed to be deliberated upon."
Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance; Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works, Housing and Power; Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation; Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning; amongst others were said to have been present at the IMF meeting with Buhari