Christine Lagarde, IMF MD and President Muhammadu Buhari
Christine Lagarde, IMF MD and President Muhammadu Buhari

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the Federal Government to watch its borrowing habit. This was the parting message from Christine Lagarde, managing director of IMF, to President Muhammadu Buhari at the end of her four days official visit to Nigeria. Lagarde urged the Federal Government to broaden its revenue base to soften the harsh impact of lower oil prices.

According to her, there is “need for careful decisions on borrowing, public spending, and managing the cost of fuel subsidies – with a view to safeguarding priority social sectors and the most vulnerable groups.”

She also said that Nigeria “will require a package of measures involving business-friendly monetary policy, flexible exchange rate policy, and disciplined fiscal policy, and the implementation of structural reforms.”

Lagarde commended the Federal Government on its efforts to tackle corruption, particularly the decision to publish monthly data on the finances and operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and advised that “transparency and the rule of law will be crucial in reducing constraints to the country’s growth.”

By Dike Onwuamaeze

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