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Business

IMF urges Nigeria to increase monetary reforms to boost balance of payments

The IMF has urged Nigeria to increase monetary reforms to boost balance of payment pressures.

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Kristalina Georgieva, IMF boss hints at 'synchronized slowdown' in global growth , IMF: 40% of African countries can't pay back their debts , Nigeria worse off, posts grows lower than LIDC benchmark - IMF, Measures introduced by Nigeria to ensure transparent use of the $3.4b IMF loan

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Nigeria has advised that the country needs to embrace the broad market and exchange rate reforms to address recurrent Balance of Payment (BOP) pressures and raise the medium-term growth path.

The IMF mission stated this on Friday in a statement issued by Ms Jesmin Rahman, in Washington D.C at the conclusion of the virtual mission, which had been conducted from October 30 to November 17, in preparation of the 2020 Article IV Consultation with Nigeria.

Ms. Rahman disclosed that low crude oil prices this year, due to the covid-19 pandemic, had negatively affected Balance Of Payments (BOP) pressures, citing the lockdown measures which caused economic hardships in Nigeria.

She added that the IMF projected that Nigeria’s economy would shrink by 3.4% in 2020.

The recovery is projected to start in 2021, with subdued growth of 1.2 per cent and output recovering to its pre-pandemic level only in 2022,” she said.

“In spite of an expected easing of food prices, inflation is projected to remain in double-digits and above the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) target range and absent monetary policy reforms.”

She urged that the FG needed to do more in the area of monetary reforms to address BOP issues and improve short term growth.

“However, more needs to be done. Major policy adjustments embracing broad market and exchange rate reforms are needed to address recurrent BOP pressures and raise the medium-term growth path.

“A durable solution to Nigeria’s recurrent BOP problems requires recalibrating exchange rate policies to reduce it risks, instill market confidence and facilitate private sector planning.

“The adjustments in the official exchange rate made earlier this year are steps in the right direction and the mission recommended a multi-step transition to a more unified exchange rate regime, with a market-based, flexible exchange rate,” Rahman said.

She further said that significant revenue mobilisation, through tax policy and administration improvements, was required to create space for higher social spending and reduce fiscal risks and debt vulnerabilities.

She added that revenue mobilization through improved tax and administrative governance would be required to improve the Nigerian government’s revenues and reduce fiscal risks

“The mission also welcomed fiscal transparency measures introduced to facilitate tracking and reporting of budget emergency funding,” she said.

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“The mission welcomed the recent submission of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to the Parliament.

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“The Fiscal Framework chapter of the bill appropriately rebalances the government take in onshore and offshore production, with the aim of providing a fair share to the government while remaining attractive to investors,” she said.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported in June that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had announced that the Nigerian economy would witness a deeper contraction of 5.4% and not the 3.4% it projected in April 2020. But the global lender expected Nigeria’s economy to rebound by 2.6% in 2021. 
  • The World Bank also stated this week that the $1.5 billion loan to Nigeria was still in the works, and called for more monetary reforms going forward.
  • “That is why our shareholders and our management are still saying we recognise how much Nigeria has done, but for this $1.5 billion to really be a part of the larger effort to put Nigeria on a sound macro-fiscal footing going forward, there needs to be a little bit more” Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, said.

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Business

 Onitsha River Port set to receive 1000 containers from Lagos next week

The National Inland Water Ways Authority says1000 containers from Lagos will arrive Onitsha river port.

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 Onitsha River Port Set To Receive 1000 Containers from Lagos Next Week

The National Inland Water Ways Authority has made public its intention to move 1000 containers from Lagos to Onitsha river port.

The statement was made on Thursday by Jibril Dardau the NIWA general manager of Corporate Affairs.

Mr. Jibril Dardau was speaking of the backdrop of an earlier statement made by the executive director of NIWA Mr. George Moughalu. Mr. George Moughalu said the agency is targeting about 1,000 containers to be hauled per trip from Lagos ports to Onitsha River Port within the maximum duration of 4 days.

Moghalu added that NIWA is engaging the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders to facilitate the commencement of the cargo haulage.

NIWA in an official statement articulated the practical modalities involved in the new initiative. It also mentioned the third party companies it would work it during the operation.

“The idea of hauling containers via Burutu Ports to Onitsha River Port is to deliberately avoid the two small bridges of Gbarekolo and Bumandi,

“Because the two bridges are too tiny and shallow for sea moving badges or vessels to ply through, that is why the company (ACTL) is considering the route from Lagos ports to Burutu Port then to Onitsha River Port as the final destination,” the statement added.

What to know

  • The Recent initiative by the National Inland Waterways Authority is aimed at reducing the gridlock at the Sea Ports in Lagos.
  • The Nigerian Government has been accused of intentionally marginalizing the Southeast region by neglecting their Maritime sector.

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Business

Sanwo-Olu commissions 1.4km Pen Cinema, Agege flyover

Governor Sanwo-Olu has commissioned the 1.4km Dual Carriageway Flyover Bridge in Pen Cinema Junction, Agege.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday officially commissioned the 1.4km Dual Carriageway Flyover Bridge in Pen Cinema Junction, Agege.

This is part of the effort by the state government to reduce the gridlock and improve the traffic situation on that axis.

During the commissioning of the project, Sanwo-Olu said that the flyover would reduce travel time and save man-hour that would have been otherwise lost to traffic on the road.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Governor said it would provide a better riding surface, leading to reduced maintenance cost; boost interconnectivity and generally make life more meaningful to commuters in the state.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu said, ”One of the most critical challenges being experienced on a daily basis by residents/road users along the Agege Pen Cinema area over the years is the heavy traffic volume occasioned by the geometric increase in traffic.

Residents and road users along this area have clamoured for a solution to the suffocating nature of the perennial traffic gridlock occasioned by the huge human and vehicular traffic, flowing through this intersection.

”To address the challenge of this huge traffic burden, our administration decided to continue with the construction of a Precast and Pre-stressed Reinforced Concrete Dual-carriage Flyover and Ramp, with road works, across the Agege Pen Cinema Intersection which was then at about 20 per cent completion.

”This is in line with the first pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda which targets the provision of roads as a critical infrastructure that will support economic activities.

“It will also enable commercial interactions and ensure ease of commuting from one part of the state to another through the elimination of traffic gridlocks,” he said.

While speaking at the occasion, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said that the project in its entirety consisted of a dual carriageway 1.4km Flyover Bridge component with two lanes of 3.65m width each in either direction with ramps, including the rehabilitation of five adjoining roads.

She said that the construction of a flyover across the Pen-Cinema intersection in addition to the spur linking old Abeokuta road which was conceived in September 2017, was seen as the solution to the transport/traffic problem on that axis.

What you should know

  • The Agege Pen-Cinema Flyover project was started by the immediate past administration of the former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in December 2017.
  • The project is expected to crisscross Oba Ogunji Road and Pen Cinema area and over the railroad, terminating at the Agunbiade Street or Oke-Koto area of the Agege community. The bridge also extends to the old Abeokuta highway into Abule Egba.
  • The flyover which was conceived to solve the perennial traffic on that axis has a total length of approximately 1.4 Kilometres and it is designed to have streetlight facilities and pedestrian walkways.

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