The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against policy somersault, saying that regime change should not be used as a reason to jettison good policies of the former government.
Speaking on the sidelines of the recent World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC, IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde charged the new regime to continue reducing public spending and end the fuel subsidy regime, arguing that Nigerians must endure the unavoidable hardships.
According to her, “What we have observed, the last one year in particular, is that a good fiscal policy, with some tightening no doubt, a good exchange rate in order to adapt to the external shocks and some use of reserves buffer, has been fairly exceptional. In a nutshell, policies that have been adopted by the Nigerian authority have been positive.
Our sense is that some of these policies need to be continued …We will still recommend that any subsidy that is being paid out on physical resources be phased out to the possible maximum extent.” The IMF boss argued that the Nigerian economy has actually benefited from falling oil prices as a result of dollar appreciation in value, because dollar pricing for oil exports cushion the fall in prices.
Other analysts at the event expressed disappointment that President Buhari’s long-awaited Cabinet list includes no economic stars to guide much-needed reform. “There’s no economist on the (Cabinet) list that can suggest to the government ways to improve revenue generation and how to run the economy,” said Garba Kurfi, managing director of APT Securities and Funds.