The visiting Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms, Christine Lagarde, Monday hailed the National Transformation Agenda of Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, and the actions taken by his Administration to ensure its effective implementation.
Ms. Lagarde, who arrived in Nigeria on Sunday for a two-day visit, met with President Jonathan in the capital city of Abuja Monday, after earlier meeting with Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
She informed the President that the feedback she had received from the IMF team which recently undertook a review of the Federal Government’s economic programme was “very positive”.
The IMF Managing Director said that the IMF team had been ”very impressed” with the Government’s prioritization of job creation, agriculture, power supply, education and health-care.
Ms. Lagarde said the team was also impressed with the Jonathan Administration’s fiscal and monetary policies as well as the reformation of the banking and financial services sector, and the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund.
She advised, however, that the Government should take further steps to protect Nigeria from the adverse effects of the crises in the global economy.
Reviewing international developments with Ms. Lagarde, President Jonathan said he believed that the IMF had a key role to play in resolving the ongoing crises in the global economy, noting that events in the developed economies were bound to affect developing countries.
President Jonathan said his Administration remains totally committed to engineering a positive transformation of the Nigerian economy that will ensure that the country becomes a much bigger player in the global economy as envisioned in its Vision 20:2020.
He said the team established to oversee the implementation of the administration’s economic agenda would receive all the political support it requires to ensure that the objective of significantly improving the national economy is attained.
“We are totally committed to changing things in Nigeria. Our vision is that by the year 2020, Nigeria will have become a much bigger player in the global economy. We have established a good team and we will give them the full political backing they need to succeed,” the President said.
Noting that Nigerians had become wary and skeptical of dealings with the IMF in the aftermath of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), President Jonathan said he believed that the IMF was now a changed institution which could contribute positively to the economies of Nigeria and other developing nations.
“I believe the present IMF is different. Our emphasis is on poverty alleviation and job creation. We are also looking at ways of improving education and health-care delivery. I believe we can work together constructively,” he said