Nigeria has not applied for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in spite of the economic challenges it faces. That is according to the country’s Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun.
The economy of the West African nation, the biggest oil exporter on the continent, has been dealt a blow by the slump in crude oil prices on the global market.
The country’s annual inflation for March shot up to a near 4-year high of 12.8 percent, that is after the economy grew by 2.8 percent last year, the slowest growth recorded in decades.
Nigeria is not sick and even if we are, we have our own local remedy.
But in spite of the challenges, the Kemi Adeosun has said the country has its own local remedies to deal with its challenges.
“Nigeria is not sick and even if we are, we have our own local remedy,” she is quoted to have said.
The IMF last month said it had again cut its growth forecast for Nigeria, predicting that gross domestic product growth would slow to 2.3 percent in 2016. The international lender also said it hoped exchange rate limits imposed by Nigeria will be removed.
Nigeria’s Central Bank has resisted calls to devalue the national currency, the naira, though a Reuters poll this week predicted that a dollar shortage, which has hamstrung businesses that need the greenback for imports, would prompt a devaluation by September.
Discussions are ongoing between the Nigerian government and the IMF for a possible loan or credit facility that would be tied to policy reforms.
The Finance Minister, also said the government has resolved to hedge against future oil shocks.
“We have resolved to build resilience into the country’s economy to hedge against future oil shocks. We are doing a combination of things to diversify our economy.”
According to government plans seen by the Reuters News Agency, the Nigerian government plans to boost non-oil income by 87 percent to offset the impact of the oil slump as well as rope in informal small traders to boost tax revenues by 33 percent.