Nigeria’s Economic Growth Too Slow To Reduce Poverty - IMF Boss Kristalina Georgieva

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the current economic growth
in Nigeria is too slow to address the scale of poverty in the country.

Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International
Monetary Fund, said this at the World Bank/IMF annual meetings holding
in Washington DC, United States.

The IMF boss said to address this, the Nigerian government must
diversify the economy from whole dependence on crude.

Georgieva reasoned that the growth of Nigeria is pivotal to the
development of Africa hence its constant call for improved fiscal
policies in the country.

She said, “Nigeria matters to the whole of Africa. When Nigeria does
well, Africa does well. What we see, however, is that economic
recovery remains still too slow to reduce vulnerabilities and most
important to reduce poverty in the country.

“What we experience is some good thought around shaking up economic
policy now that a government is being constituted in Nigeria.

“We have been quite consistent to talk about three issues in Nigeria.
One is the question of fiscal capacity. As you know, the tax
collection levels in Nigeria leave quite a lot of room for improvement
and without strengthening the fiscal position of the government, the
expenditure side, of course, would suffer.”

IMF also called for improved tax systems so that the government can
generate revenue internally to funds programmes.

In the area of economic diversification, Georgieva said, “We have been
consistently recommending the country to diversify the economy because
reliance on oil does not serve very well and that means to continue
with structural reforms that would make that possible.”

On the fight against corruption, she said there was a need for a
strong anti-corruption policy that would be unambiguous.

She said, “Fight corruption and make sure that the richness of Nigeria
serves Nigerians inside the country and in that regard, the Fund last
year adopted a very clear, strong policy on anti-corruption.

“We engaged with governments to build their capacity to make serving
the citizens of the country with the money of the country possible.”