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IMF Boss Applauds Nigeria’s New Monetary Policy

By Eric Ojo, Abuja

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde has applauded the new exchange rate policy in Nigeria which was introduced recently by the Central of Nigeria (CBN).

Lagarde said the CBN’s decision to lead the country towards a direction of a more flexible exchange rate, according to her, is a very wise option and so much better than what there was before.

Speaking as a special guest at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, she noted that it is a move in the right direction, adding that she is very pleased by the CBN’s decision and delighted that President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to that change as being part of the overall Nigerian policy.

“I was very, very pleased to see the exchange rate new policy that has been decided by the Central Bank of Nigeria. And I’m delighted that President Buhari has agreed to that change as being part of the overall Nigerian policy. I think it’s a move in the right direction”, she said.

She further also noted that aside from being a country that is a massive producer of oil, Nigeria, according to her, is a country that actually has other sources of growth that is far more diversified but where resources are predominantly particularly the revenue for the state of Nigeria from oil.

“The fact that it is heading in the more direction of a more flexible exchange rate I think is so wise and so much better than what there was before. So I think on that front the country is heading in the right direction.

“Diversification of sources of growth is a critical one and I think the fight against corruption is something that President Buhari himself who was present at the London Summit against corruption has devoted his energy and efforts towards and it needs to be continued, we need to support him in helping along the way.

“But fighting against corruption, diversifying the economy, making sure that there is growth in the country in order to create jobs for the Nigerian population particularly the young people on the basis of a monetary policy and an exchange rate that is more variable then it was before.

“I think hopefully will position the country in a much better shape for the future. It is the largest economy and certainly the largest population in Africa. The rebasing of the economy is certainly demonstrated. I hope it heads in the right direction”, the IMF boss added.

While also commenting on the Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), Lagarde said  there is no doubt that it will have an economic impact on the Britain’s economy and also have an economic impact on growth in the EU as well.

Consequently, policymakers, according to her, are going to be in high demand to come in the most cohesive, concerted and hopefully positive way in response to the situation.

“So certainly from our perspective as the IMF, we have very strongly encouraged and will continue to encourage the parties involved to actually proceed with this transition in the most efficient, predictable way in order to reduce the level of uncertainty which will itself determine the level of risk that we are facing”, she further stated.

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