The International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims that Nigeria’s current economic growth is too sluggish to tackle the country’s poverty scale.
Kristalina Georgieva, the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, said this at the annual meetings of the World Bank / IMF held in Washington DC, USA.
The IMF boss said the Nigerian government had to diversify the economy from total reliance on crude to fix this. Georgieva stated that Nigeria’s growth is vital to Africa’s progress, hence its continued demand for better fiscal policies in the region.
She said, “Nigeria matters to the whole of Africa. When Nigeria does well, Africa does well. What we see, however, is that economic recovery remains still too slow to reduce vulnerabilities and most important to reduce poverty in the country.
“What we experience is some good thought around shaking up economic policy now that government is being constituted in Nigeria.
“We have been quite consistent to talk about three issues in Nigeria.
One is the question of fiscal capacity. As you know, the tax collection levels in Nigeria leave quite a lot of room for improvement and without strengthening the fiscal position of the government, the expenditure side, of course, would suffer.”
The IMF also called for improved tax systems to enable the government to generate revenue for funding programs internally.
In the field of economic diversification, Georgieva said, “We have consistently advocated that the country diversify the economy as relying on oil does not serve very well and that means continuing with structural reforms that would make it possible.”
On the fight against corruption, she said there was a need for a strong anti-corruption policy that would be unambiguous.
She said, “Fight corruption and make sure that the richness of Nigeria serves Nigerians inside the country and in that regard, the Fund last year adopted a very clear, strong policy on anti-corruption.
“We have been working with governments to develop their capacity to make it possible to serve the country’s citizens with the country’s money.”