IMF backs Buhari govt’s efforts at promoting targeted infrastructure in power, others

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The International Monetary Fund, IMF,
yesterday, said it was supportive of the Federal
Government's ongoing efforts at promoting
targeted and core infrastructure in power,
integrated transport network, housing; reduce
business environment costs through greater
transparency and accountability, and promote
employment of youths and female populations.
It also said that "adopting a sound Petroleum
Industry Bill, applying the anti-money
laundering/combating the financing of terrorism
framework, will help to strengthen the Nigeria
regulatory framework for the oil sector."
It also said government emphasis should be
sustained on doing "more with less" to improve
the efficiency of public sector service delivery
and create an enabling environment to attract
investment.
The IMF team that visited Nigeria in January 2016
in a statement released, yesterday, in
Washington said: "In the light of the significant
macroeconomic adjustment that is needed to
address the permanent terms-of-trade shock, it
will be important for Nigeria to put in place an
integrated package of policies centred around:
fiscal discipline; reducing external imbalances;
further improving efficiency of the banking
sector; and fostering strong implementation of
structural reforms that will enhance."

http://cdn1.vanguardngr.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Lagos-train.jpg

Pix shows Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle)
listening to the Managing Director, CCECC, Mr.
Shihong Bing (right) during the track work
commencement ceremony of the Lagos Rail
Mass Transit (Blue Line) at Orile Iganmu along
with other executive members
IMF backs Buhari govt's efforts at promoting
targeted infrastructure in power, others
ON February 24, 2016 12:39 AM / IN
News / Comments
By Omoh Gabriel
LAGOS — The International Monetary Fund, IMF,
yesterday, said it was supportive of the Federal
Government's ongoing efforts at promoting
targeted and core infrastructure in power,
integrated transport network, housing; reduce
business environment costs through greater
transparency and accountability, and promote
employment of youths and female populations.
It also said that "adopting a sound Petroleum
Industry Bill, applying the anti-money
laundering/combating the financing of terrorism
framework, will help to strengthen the Nigeria
regulatory framework for the oil sector."
It also said government emphasis should be
sustained on doing "more with less" to improve
the efficiency of public sector service delivery
and create an enabling environment to attract
investment.
The IMF team that visited Nigeria in January 2016
in a statement released, yesterday, in
Washington said: "In the light of the significant
macroeconomic adjustment that is needed to
address the permanent terms-of-trade shock, it
will be important for Nigeria to put in place an
integrated package of policies centred around:
fiscal discipline; reducing external imbalances;
further improving efficiency of the banking
sector; and fostering strong implementation of
structural reforms that will enhance."
The team led by Gene Leon, said its
discussions with government were focused on
assessing the economic impact of the sharp
decline in oil prices and policies for addressing
near-term vulnerabilities, as well as structural
reforms to promote sustained inclusive growth
and reduce poverty.
According to the statement signed by Mr. Leon,
Nigeria's economic "growth is projected to
improve slightly to 3.2 per cent in 2016 but
could rebound to 4.9 per cent in 2017,
supported by an appropriate policy package
that would, for example, enable priority
infrastructure investments.
"The general government deficit is projected to
widen somewhat before improving in 2017,
while the external current account deficit is
likely to remain flat at 2.3 percent of GDP.
Growth in credit to the private sector is
projected to recover from the slump in 2015,
aiding the increase in activity.
"Key risks to the outlook include lower-than-
budgeted oil prices, shortfalls in non-oil
revenues, a further deterioration in finances of
state and local governments, and a resurgence
in security concerns.
"Establishing medium-term fiscal policy goals
that support fiscal sustainability is a priority. In
particular, measures should be implemented to
boost the ratio of non-oil revenue to GDP,
including from improvements in revenue
administration and broadening of ther tax base;
rationalize spending; adopt safety nets for the
most vulnerable; and foster enhanced
accountability and an orderly adjustment of
sub-national budgets."

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"Eliminating existing macroeconomic imbalances
and achieving sustained private sector
-led growth requires a renewed focus on
ensuring the competitiveness of the economy.
As part of a credible package of policies, the
exchange rate should be allowed to reflect
market forces more and restrictionsr on access
to foreign exchange removed, while improving
the functioning of the interbank foreign
exchange market (IFEM). It will be important for
the regulatory and supervisory frameworks to
ensure a strong and resilient financial sector
that can support private sector investment
across production segments (including SMEs) at
reasonable financing costs. Staff is supportive of
the authorities' ongoing efforts to promote
targeted and core infrastructure (in power,
integrated transport network, housing); reduce
business environment costs through greater
transparency and accountability, promote
employment of youth and female populations.
"Steadfast implementation of structural reforms
is key. Adopting a sound Petroleum Industry
Bill, including by applying the Anti-Money
Laundering/ Combating the Financing of
Terrorism framework, will help strengthen the
regulatory framework for the oil sector.
Emphasis should be sustained on doing "more
with less"to
improve the efficiency of public sector service
delivery and create an enabling environment to
attract investment.
"Nigeria is facing the impact of a sharp decline
in oil prices. Due to its dependence on oil
revenues, the general government deficit
doubled to about 3.3 percent of GDP in 2015,
despite a sharp reduction in public investment.
Exports dropped about 40 percent, pushing the
current account deficit to an estimated 2.4
percent of GDP. With foreign portfolio flows
slowing significantly, reserves fell to $28.3
billion at end-2015. Foreign exchange
restrictions introduced by the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) to protect reserves have impacted
significantly segments of the private sector that
depend on an adequate supply of foreign
currencies. Coupled with fuele shortages in the
first half of the year and lower investor
confidence, growth is estimated to have slowed
to 2.8 percent in 2015 (from 6.3 percent in
2014), weakening corporate balance sheets,
lowering the resilience of the banking system,
and likely reversing progress in reducing
unemployment and poverty. Inflation increased
to 9.6 percent in December (up from 7.9
percent in December 2014), above the CBN's
medium term target range of 6 –9 percent.
"With oil prices expected to remain low for a
long time, continuing risk aversion by
international investors, and downside risks in
the global economy, the outlook remains
challenging. The authorities' policy response
has focused on seeking to support growth,
International Monetary Fund Washington, D.C.
20431 USA while preserving international
reserves. The draft 2016 budget envisaged,
appropriately, a significant shift in the
composition of fiscal spending toward capital
investment while increasing the allocation for a
social safety net. At the same time the CBN has
eased monetary conditions.
During the visits, the team met with Vice
President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Finance
Minister, Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Budget and
Planning Udoma Udo Udoma, Central Bank of
Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele, senior
government officials, and representatives of the
private sector.

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Benue Blog Portal: IMF backs Buhari govt’s efforts at promoting targeted infrastructure in power, others
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