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Nigerian Officially Out of Recession- IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed that Nigeria is out of recession and applauded the country’s strong recovery in foreign exchange reserves.

Leadership reports that this was contained in a report released on Wednesday, March 7, in Washington DC by its executive board after the conclusion of Article IV Consultation with Nigeria. According to the report, the executive director of IMF applauded Nigeria’s implementation the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

It however, warned that it was still susceptible to shock in spite of the economy being out of recession due to its fragility.

The report said: “The directors noted, however, that important challenges remain as growth in the non-oil, non-agricultural sector has not picked up. To address these vulnerabilities, they stressed that comprehensive and coherent policy actions remain urgent.

“The directors emphasised the need for a growth-friendly fiscal adjustment to reduce the ratio of interest payments to revenue, to a more sustainable level and prioritise social and infrastructure spending.”

The IMF recommended ambitious tax policy measure and applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria for its role.

The implementation of an automatic fuel price setting mechanism, sound cash and debt management and improved transparency in the oil sector is imperative. There is need to also increase monitoring of the fiscal position of state and local governments and substantially scaled-up social safety nets.

“A few of the IMF Directors also advised the federal government to fast-track the confirmation of the appointments of the central bank’s board of directors and members of the monetary policy committee.

“The directors emphasised that structural reform implementation should continue to lay the foundation for a diversified private sector led economy. They noted that, building on recent improvements in the business environment, implementing the power sector recovery plan and investing in infrastructure will accelerate growth in the country.

“They also advised that the government should strengthen anti-corruption and transparency initiative, while implementing the financial inclusion and gender strategies,” the report added.

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