Nigeria is under severe economic stress – IMF boss

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, said on Tuesday that Nigeria was under severe economic stress.

Lagarde, who was on a four-day visit to Nigeria last week, stated this at a farewell symposium for the Governor of the Central Bank of France, Christian Noyer, in Paris.

According to the IMF boss, Nigeria and Cameroon are among countries in the world that are battling with poor economy and slump in oil prices.

She said, “So, why focus on emerging and developing economies? It is worth remembering that these countries are home to 85 per cent of the world’s population. Today, emerging and developing economies account for almost 60 per cent of the global GDP, up from just under half only a decade ago.

“On current forecasts, the emerging world will converge on advanced economy income levels at less than two-thirds the pace we had predicted just a decade ago. This is cause for concern. Clearly, the 85 per cent matter for the global economy.”

Lagarde added, “Many commodity-exporting emerging and developing economies are under severe stress, and some currencies have already experienced very large depreciations. We have all seen it in Latin America, and I saw it first-hand last week in Nigeria and Cameroon – two countries that are hit hard by lower oil prices and domestic fragilities.

“So, where does this leave economic policy? And what can the other 15 per cent of the global population do for global growth and to help emerging and developing countries adjust to the new global environment?”

The IMF boss called for stronger global financial safety net and a framework for safer capital flows.

Lagarde stated, “I have many times called for economic policy upgrades in our member countries. But beyond putting individual countries’ houses in order, there is more that needs to be done. We need a policy upgrade at the global level.”

 

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