Lagarde Meets Emefiele, Banks’ CEOs, NASS
In continuation of her four-day visit to Nigeria, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Christine Lagarde, on Wednesday, January 6, 2016, met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, as well as Chief Executive Officers of the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, which took place at the Head office of the Bank, Ms. Lagarde said discussions centered on how the Nigerian economy would be rescued through banks’ support to the real sector, realistic interest rates, among others issues.
The Governor, Mr. Emefiele, who corroborated Lagarde’s stance, commended the visit of the IMF chief at this critical period, saying the meeting with the banks’ CEOs was fruitful and would assist their role in boosting economic growth in the economy.
At the National Assembly, Ms. Lagarde met with the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and Principal Officers of the Senate, during which she made a comprehensive presentation and offered professional advice on how to move the economy forward. She also promised that the IMF would support Nigeria in its journey towards economic recovery.
The presentation, based on what she termed 3Rs: Resolve, Resilience and Restraint, detailed Ms. Lagarde’s perspective on Nigeria’s story, which she structured into three phases: the global transitions and how they impacted on Nigeria’s economy; the importance of managing near-term vulnerabilities facing the economy; and suggestions on what might help towards achieving a more inclusive and sustainable growth.
She concluded by affirming Nigeria’s position as a 21st world economy, premised on indicators such as a booming mobile communications market; vibrant film industry; growing number of innovative startups in fashion and software development industries; among others. She however pointed to some structural challenges in the economy such as poverty and inequality, which she said would continue to stunt any growth potentials of the country unless efforts to address them was doubled.
Some of the suggestions Lagarde offered, which she believed would turn around the economy, included effective transportation network, fostering a sound banking system to attract more savings into productive investment, and an effective war against corruption.
In a welcome address, President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, said, as people’s representatives, it was imperative for them to have adequate understanding of the policies of the IMF. He also promised that the National Assembly would help the country achieve economic diversification.
The National Assembly session was attended by key committee Chairmen, including Senator Danjuma Goje of the Appropriation; Senator John Enoh of Finance; Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Agriculture; Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the National Planning; and Senator Binta Masi Garba of the Tertiary Education and TETFund.
Earlier at the Mother Theresa Orphanage in Gwarimpa, Abuja, Ms. Lagarde commended the efforts of the proprietors and called for more support from the private sector. After inspecting the facilities at the orphanage the IMF Managing Director, made a token donation on behalf of the IMF.
Earlier in her remarks, Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Dr. (Mrs.) Sarah Alade, promised that the CBN would assist the orphanage.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance Dr. Mahmud Isa Dutse, who represented the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said that Federal Government had budgeted the sum of N500m this year to cater for the vulnerable groups.