IMF: Nigeria will look inwards to overcome – President Buhari

Ben Adam Shemang

President Muhammadu Buhari has told the visiting Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund that his administration will look inwards, enforce regulations to stop financial leakages and adopt global best practices in generating more revenue to mitigate the effect of dwindling oil prices on the Nigerian economy.

Receiving the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms Christine Lagarde at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari said that his administration will also enforce greater discipline, probity and accountability in all revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government.

“We have just come out of budget discussions after many weeks of taking into consideration the many needs of the country, and the down turn of the economy with falling oil prices and the negative economic forecasts. We are working very hard and with the budget as our way forward, we will do our best to ensure that our country survives the current economic downturn”.

The President went further to explain how accountability would be key to his cabinet:”We have also told all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government that on our watch, they will fully account for all funds that get into their coffers”.

The President said that the Federal Government was reviewing its operational costs and had directed all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to cut down on their overhead costs.

President Buhari said the Federal Government will welcome the technical support and expertise of the IMF for its plans to diversify the Nigerian economy and further unleash its growth potentials.

In her remarks, Ms Lagarde said that the IMF will be willing to assist the Federal Government in plugging revenue leakages, tracing stolen funds and restructuring its tax system.

She said that Nigeria had all the potentials to overcome the current economic challenge of falling commodity prices without resorting to the IMF for financial support.

The IMF boss also explained the motive behind the visit: “To those of you who wonder why the IMF managing director is visiting Nigeria,  well it is to precisely to have a good discussion about these new objectives, these reforms agendas that have been identified and supported by the President, and also to appreciate the impact that it will have on neighbouring countries because when you have a very large economy like Nigeria and that is what is certainly our research and analytical work is demonstrating. Nigeria is one of those that have impact not just non itself and its people but around it and its neighbours” ,

She said she was not in Nigeria to force Nigeria to take a loan from the global financial body.