IMF advises Nigeria to stop multiple foreign exchange rates

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the Nigerian government to unify its exchange rates to achieve desired economic growth.

Oya Celasun, IMF’s Divisional Chief, Research Department, stated this on Tuesday, October 15th, during a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Outlook at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C.

Celasun said the slight upward revision of economic growth for Nigeria this year came mostly from strong agricultural production, but still not high enough to lift per capita growth.

When asked about the comprehensive package of measures suggested after the outcome of the IMF team’s visit to Nigeria led by Amine Mati, Senior Resident Representative and Mission Chief for Nigeria, Ms. Celasun said IMF referred to a stronger non-oil revenue mobilisation.

For some time now, we have been emphasising the need for a comprehensive package to lift growth.

“One element of that will have to be stronger non-oil revenue mobilisation. Nigeria has one of the lowest rates of revenue in the world, which was hit hard by the drop in oil prices.

“That is essential for the country to be able to spend more on priorities, such as social safety net and infrastructure. Other areas are the need for tight monetary policy and a simpler unified exchange rate system. Foreign exchange restrictions have also been distorting public and private sector decisions and holding back investment.

The Bretton Woods institution said because the Nigerian economy largely depends on oil prices and oil prospects, there is a need for structural reforms to increase per capita growth.

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