Monday, 31 October 2016

World Bank, IMF put pressure on Buhari to come up with economic blueprint.

President Muhammadu Buhari receiving IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde in Abuja.
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund, IMF, have piled pressure on the Federal Government to come up with an economic blueprint, if its drive for foreign loans was not to be stalled. Vanguard gathered that officials of both financial institutions have questioned the Minister of Finance and her team over the absence of a blueprint for which the loans being sought would be utilized. 

Sources at the Presidency said at the last IMF/World Bank Group Annual Meetings, that the Nigeria team was asked to produce an economic blueprint for which the IMF/World Bank Group will offer support. Specifically, Vanguard learned that the US Secretary of Finance and that of the United Kingdom, told the Nigerian team that without a comprehensive economic blueprint, Nigeria would not get support from IMF and the World Bank. 

The source said that usually, the IMF asks countries for what it called Policy Support Instrument, PSI, an instrument which serves as a document through which the multilateral institution monitors the economic progress of the country they support. The source further said that during the Obasanjo administration, the NEEDS document was the Policy Support Instrument used to negotiate debt relief. 

The source also said the World Bank Group was interested in such a document as a means of evaluating its recently launched Sustainable Development Goals. It was also learned that at the various road shows in London, foreign investors had asked Nigerians for an economic blueprint. Such an economic framework, they argued, aside from addressing the current challenges, would go a long way to engender confidence in both local and international investors on the way forward. 

The source said this had become very imperative, given that investor-perception of Nigeria’s outlook was critical to its economic recovery. At the moment, the Federal Government has not been able to come up with such a policy document. 

But in reaction to Vanguard’s enquiry a presidential aide said the present administration was working on a comprehensive economic blueprint that would soon be ready for launching. The source, who said the issue of economic blueprint had become very contentious in government circles, said the economic management team had produced a blue print that will be launched soon. 


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