Economist Urges Nigeria To Consider IMF’s Consultation Report

Channels Television  
Updated March 10, 2014

Boniface ChizeaAn economist, Dr Boniface Chizea, has stressed the need for the Nigerian government to consider the reports of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to achieve economic targets.

The IMF in its report looked at the rate of exchange which it pointed out that Nigeria was focusing too much on and called for flexibility.

It also advised the government to put in place a plan that will see to the closure of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), established to be a key stabilising and re-vitalising tool that will revive the financial system by efficiently resolving the non-performing loan assets of the banks in the Nigerian economy. It stated that “if the agency is left to continue, it will make the banks vulnerable”.

The report also gave a projection of 6.4 economic growth, a projection Dr Chizea pointed out could be lower or higher than the final outcome.

He pointed out that the IMF may have considered the election that would come up in 2015 before making the projection.

The report is part of IMF’s annual responsibilities to member countries. It is put together after the annual visitation aimed at knowing more about what is going on in the economy.

The IMF, during the consultation visit, held talks with some key players within the system – the Central bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance amongst others.

Dr Chizea pointed out that the government must consider the winding down of AMCON, which he said was a distress resolution vehicle that was used in cleaning up some almost distressed banks’ records.

“It is left for us to decide as a nation whether AMCON has achieved the aim of its establishment. If the institution is left to be there, it will make the banks reckless. Nigeria should look at countries that have put distressed companies in place and see how they have managed the agency,” he said.

He stressed the need for the lawmakers to look at the grey areas that had been identified in the Petroleum Industry Bill and consider its passage, as it would attract more investors in the sector.

“I think there should be a stakeholders’ conference that will look at the bill and proffer solution to the issues that may have been raised,” he said.