Connect with us

Economy

Nigerians Are Getting Poorer, Says IMF

Published

on

IMF cuts Nigeria's 2016 Economic Growth To -1
  • Nigerians Are Getting Poorer, Says IMF

Nigeria’s people are getting poorer despite the country’s slow recovery from the recession and economic reforms are urgently needed, the International Monetary Fund has said.

The Fund expects the government to “muddle through” in the medium term, and any progress could also be threatened if elections next year consume political energy and resources, it said in a report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Since emerging from recession in the second quarter of 2017, Nigerian officials have repeatedly boasted that they have set the economy back on track.

But critics say much of the recovery comes from a return to oil dependence after a rise in global oil prices and a rebound in crude production, more the result of militants in the Niger Delta halting attacks on oil facilities than of economic policy under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The IMF said in the report that the outlook for growth had improved but remained challenging.

“Comprehensive and coherent” economic policies “remain urgent and must not be delayed by approaching elections and recovering oil prices,” it stated in its annual Article IV review of Nigeria’s economy.

“Higher oil prices would support a recovery in 2018 but a ‘muddle-through’ outlook is projected for the medium term under current policies, with fiscal dominance and structural constraints leading to continuing falls in real GDP per capita,” the IMF added.

In the report, it identified risks to growth, including additional delays to implementing policies and reforms ahead of the 2019 elections, security tensions, and oil prices, a fall in which could see capital flows reversed.

“Further delays in policy action, including because of pre-election pressures, can only make the inevitable adjustment more difficult and costlier,” the report added.

The lender repeated its call for Nigeria to simplify its complex foreign exchange system, a bugbear for the IMF for more than a year, which has left large gaps between official rates and various windows that certain groups can use to get other rates.

“Moving towards a unified exchange rate should be pursued as soon as possible. The IMF staff does not support the exchange measures that have given rise to the exchange restrictions and multiple currency practices,” it stated.

The Fund further singled out the central bank, saying it should discontinue direct interventions in the economy.

The Central Bank of Nigeria frequently injects hundreds of millions of dollars into the foreign exchange market to keep its own rates stable.

Commercial banks struggling to remain solvent were also called out, but not identified by the IMF, including one that the lender said was already insolvent, adding, “Some of these banks are kept afloat through continuous recourse to the CBN’s lending facilities.”

The IMF said it would not comment on purported leaks. A spokeswoman for the Fund said a statement would be issued after the lender’s board’s meeting to discuss its assessment on Friday.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Finance did not immediately respond to a phone call and email requesting comment.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

FG Launches New N25bn Youth Fund to Address Some of the Concerns Raised by #EndSARS Protesters

Published

on

Zainab Ahmed

FG Introduces N25 Billion Youth Fund

The Federal Government has introduced a new N25 billion youth fund to address some of the issues raised by the Nigerian youths who took to the street to demand good governance, among others.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this at a stakeholder meeting held with the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, in Kaduna.

Ahmed said the fund would be increased from N25 billion to N75 billion within three years to ensure new job creation for the youths.

The meeting was constituted as part of the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to ministers and governors to dialogue with stakeholders on some of the concerns raised by #EndSARS protesters.

The finance minister said the aim was to support the Nigerian youths to actualise their innovative and entrepreneurial minds in business and general development of the nation.

On her part, Balarabe said the essence of the meeting was to brainstorm on how to tackle security challenges faced during the #EndSARS protests.

Dr Mohammad Abubakar, the Minister of Environment, who was also at the meeting, reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to people-friendly policies and reforms.

Continue Reading

Economy

Kwara to Support Looted Businesses With N500 Million

Published

on

Kwara State to Fund Looted Businesses With N500 Million

Kwara State has joined the list of states supporting businesses that were looted and vandalised by hoodlums masquerading as #EndSARS protesters.

Mr. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the Governor of Kwara State, during a visit to the Kwara Mall and Agro Mall on Saturday said the state will support affected businesses with N500 million, adding that the funding is to reduce the negative impact of the looting on the state economy.

On Sunday, in a statement issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, the Governor said the vandalism and looting may bring several businesses to their knees and lead to massive job loss with an increase in poverty rate.

He said, in order to avoid this, “We are setting up a N500 million fund for those that were affected to access.”

“The application form is live and active on the state government’s website and can now be filled by interested parties. We are going to get them back as soon as possible,” he assured.

The governor, who described the situation as a mindless looting of people’s businesses, said there can be no justification for such criminal behavour in our society and commiserated with affected owners.

Speaking on accusation of hoarding of palliatives, the Governor said the palliatives were donated by Private sector led CACOVID to specific vulnerable households and were being distributed gradually across the state.

What happened was bareface stealing and some people are playing politics with it. This is not the time to play politics. It is a time for all hands to be on deck. It is not just Kwara they wanted to burn down. They wanted to burn the whole country down. I urge all of us to stand up and resist that,” he said.

“We engaged the #EndSARS youth in Kwara and it worked out for us. They were not violent. They had a five-point agenda which the federal government has agreed to and has started implementing. In Kwara State, we have also set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into the allegation of Police abuse. I also visited Police barracks to see how we can improve the welfare of the Police in the state.

“While the hoodlums were looting (on Friday), I was holding a meeting with executives and members of the National Association of Kwara State Students and National Association of Nigeria Students, Kwara axis. It shows students and youths were not part of the looting. Those involved were just hoodlums and thieves,” he said.

Continue Reading

Economy

IMF to Review Nigeria’s Growth Forecast Amid Destruction of Businesses, Properties

Published

on

IMF 1

IMF Says it May Review Nigeria’s Growth  Amid Recent Development in the Country

Following the destruction of businesses and properties that trailed the #EndSARS protest, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it may review the nation’s growth forecast in view of the new development in the country.

Abebe Selassie, the Director, African Department, International Monetary Fund, made the statement while responding to questions during a virtual IMF press conference on the economic outlook of Sub-Saharan Africa on Thursday.

According to him, the protest is difficult given that Lagos is a very important economic hub and contributes to the overall Nigeria activities.

Selassie said, “On the growth projections in Nigeria, I mean, these protests happened of course, after we had closed, after the period where the data we looked at in making the growth projections for this economic outlook.

“And much will depend really on how these protests evolve.

“Lagos of course, is a very important economic hub and contributes quite a bit of economic activity to overall Nigeria activities.

“So, if these persist and are showing significant effects on economic data, we will internalise them in due course.”

He further explained that the nation’s economy had been a difficult one in the last four years ever since oil prices plunged in 2015-16.

He said, “I think this is exactly why we have been on the record in Nigeria about how really critical it is to get all of the policy induced barriers out of the way to facilitate stronger economic growth.

“For the government to do more to raise revenues through the area of non-oil resources to be able to invest in health education which would, you know, allow people to be more successful at getting jobs but also improve the economy’s potential.

“So, I think that development agenda that Nigeria has, I think, has to be tackled with gusto and vigor so that the millions of jobs that the country needs can be created.”

Continue Reading

Trending