The Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Legarde says the state of Nigeria’s economy is critical and requires proactive monetary, fiscal and structural policies to put it on the path of growth.
The IMF position during a media conference at the IMF WD spring meetings attracted the reaction of Nigeria’s Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun.
The Minister, said Nigeria will overcome its economic challenges without taking loan facility from the IMF.
She disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday. Adeosun made the observation at the ongoing Spring Meetings of the IMF-World Bank in Washington DC in response to why the government has refused to apply for IMF loans.
The statement quoted the minister as saying that Nigeria was adapting to its new realities by implementing fiscal policies to steer the country back on track for stable growth with a diversified economy.
Signed by the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media, Mr Festus Akanbi, the statement said the minister expressed optimism that sound fiscal policies and investments would boost Nigeria’s economy by 2017.
“IMF could be a doctor but for Nigeria our message is we are not sick & if we are sick we have our own local medicine” – Finance Minister
Adeosun insisted that what the country was passing through was surmountable because government was already applying a “cocktail of measures to address the problem.
“Nigeria is not sick. The real vulnerability in the Nigerian economy is over-dependence on a single source of revenue; oil.
“We have resolved to build resilience into the country’s economy to hedge against future oil shocks. This is because dependence on oil brings about vulnerability and laziness.
“So, we are doing a combination of things to diversify our economy, with revenue mobilisation to enable sufficient investment in developing the non-oil sectors.
“We have great opportunities to reset the Nigerian economy and ensure that as we go forward, growth will be in a sustainable manner so that we won’t be vulnerable to oil price fluctuations.’’
Adeosun said with a truly diversified economy the government would have enabled opportunities for wealth creation that would have flow down to every Nigerian.
She said that the compelling business case in Nigeria is that the fundamentals remain very strong, a teaming, young growing population, rich in resources and that the government of the day is determined to finally get it right.
She added that the long term investors recognise this and understand the difference between short term and long term issues and that the case for Nigeria persuades one to plan for the longer term opportunities.