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IMF head advises Nigeria to seek international help

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Staff writer ▼ | April 15, 2016
Nigeria street market
Africa   Nigeria should be open-minded

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), says Nigeria should seek economic help from international institutions.

Speaking at the IMF in Washington, D.C., Lagarde said Nigeria needs to be open-minded on foreign exchange, and swiftly approve the 2016 budget.

“Our recommendation is that Nigeria should seek help from the international institutions that can best help,” she said.

“Second, that Nigeria should be open-minded in using flexibility of the exchange rates, in order to absorb some of the shocks. We believe that this is more efficient than to have a list of products that are barred from being imported to the country.

“Third, we believe that it’s really important that budget be completed, decided and approved and we stand ready to help Nigeria, if it wants to seek our help.”

Lagarde, who was in the company of David Lipton, IMF first deputy managing director and Gerry Rice, IMF spokesperson, also called on Nigeria to diversify its economy, adding that oil prices may be low for longer.

“I believe, having visited Nigeria in January, that it is also really important that the country looks at diversifying its economy, because it cannot rely exclusively on commodity prices only, particularly oil, because it might very well stay low for longer,” she said.

“Nigeria is full of energy, smart people, and can really transform some of its activities including the agricultural sector where there is just too much by way of import, when there could be a lot of transformation in Nigeria and local consumption.”


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