BY BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE
COORDINATING Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Governor Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Lamido Sanusi have told the International Monetary Fund, IMF, that there is no cause for alarm over Nigeria’s economy.
The duo had led the Nigerian official delegation to the just concluded 2013 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings to a meeting with the Managing Director IMF, Christine Lagarde over some observations made in the recent IMF Article IV Conclusion report on Nigeria.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated that macroeconomic fundamentals of Nigeria are strong but with equally strong vulnerability arising from the drop in crude oil output and price, noting that should the trend continue, Nigeria could be losing on average, about $1billion monthly.
She further told the IMF MD, that there was no cause for alarm, stating that Nigeria already accumulated a buffer of about $7billion which had become handy in cushioning the expected revenue shortfall, stating that the budget remains on course.
She reminded the head of the IMF that Nigeria would be rebasing its National Income Account and requested the Fund to work with the Nigerian official on the project and to set up an advisory board to supervise the process in order to instill global credibility.
On his part, Sanusi, in response to the recommendation of the IMF report that the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, should be closed, argued that the Corporation should be allowed to complete the designed 10-year timeframe required to complete its operations. He explained that the model used in establishing AMCON shows that the Nigerian banking system would be able to recover the debts under 10 years.