President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told vising IMF Managing Director, Ms Christine Lagarde 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 country’s economy.
Buhari, who received the IMF boss at the Presidential Villa, also stressed that his administration will enforce greater discipline, probity and accountability in all revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government.
A press statement released by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, quoted President Buhari as telling Ms Lagarde thus:
“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.
“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.”
Mr. Buhari further stressed that his government was reviewing its operational costs and had directed all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to cut down on their overhead costs.
He also assured that his government is ready to collaborate with the technical support and expertise of the IMF for its plans to diversify the Nigerian economy and further unleash its growth potentials.
On her part, Lagarde said she was impressed with the measures being undertaken by the Nigerian government to address the economic down turn.
“Just met President Buhari of Nigeria. Impressed with the government response to challenge of sustained, low oil prices”, Lagarde declared via her twitter handle @Lagarde on Tuesday.
She disclosed that a team of economists would be sent to Nigeria next week to review and audit the 2016 budget Bill and also “have a good discussion with the government authorities to really assess whether the financing is in place, whether the debt is sustainable, whether the borrowing costs are sensible and what strategy must be put in place in order to address challenges going forward!”
By Olisemeka Obeche