IMF Boss Christine Lagarde In Nigeria To Discuss Large Budget Deficit


President Muhammadu Buhari has on Tuesday, January 5th resumed talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, Christine Lagarde as the government looks to fund an $11bn (£7.5bn) budget deficit.

Speaking on what to look out for in their discussion, Christine Lagarde who had arrived Nigeria on Monday January 4th, said that issues covering the 2016 budget deficit, the country’s economic challenges as well as the dwindling oil price will be discussed.

“I look forward to productive meetings … as they address important economic challenges, most importantly the impact of low oil prices,” she said.

Also See: President Buhari, Media Chat & The Word Of A Tyrant- As Written By FFK

President Mohammadu Buhari had in his 2016 budget address informed Nigerians of Federal Government’s need to borrow a huge sum of money for both local and international bodies to be able to fund the 2016 budget.

“… the 2016 Budget proposals of the Federal Government. Based on the assumptions I presented earlier, we have proposed a budget of N6.08 trillion with a revenue projection of N3.86 trillion resulting in a deficit of N2.22 trillion.The deficit, which is equivalent to 2.16% of Nigeria’s GDP, will take our overall debt profile to 14% of our GDP. This remains well within acceptable fiscal limits. Our deficit will be financed by a combination of domestic borrowing of N984 billion, and foreign borrowing of N900 billion totaling N1.84 trillion. Over the medium term, we expect to increase revenues and reduce overheads, to bring the fiscal deficit down to 1.3% of GDP by 2018.”

President Buhari also stated that he is not ignorant of the country’s economic predicament, as country is facing a cash shortage caused by one of the main sources of government revenue. He therefore promised Nigerians that his government will do all it takes to resurrect the economy and put a lasting smile on their faces.

“I know the state of our economy is a source of concern for many. This has been further worsened by the unbridled corruption and security challenges we have faced in the last few years. From those who have lost their jobs, to those young people who have never had a job, to the people in the North East whose families and businesses were destroyed by insurgents, this has been a difficult period in our nation’s history, lessons that we must not forget or ignore, as we plan for the future.

“… the confidence of many might be shaken. However, I stand before you today promising that we will secure our country, rebuild our economy, and make the Federal Republic of Nigeria stronger than it has ever been.”

Christine Lagarde will also give a speech to lawmakers on Wednesday and will also meet business leaders during her visit.

More details on the outcome of the meeting will reach you soon.

Also See: NASS Confronts The Presidency Saying – ‘We Wont Support Buhari’s TSA’