Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on several economies of the world, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, has projected the Nigerian economy as one of those that would be hard hit by the pandemic.
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The institution, due to this forecast, has advised the Federal and State governments to put up more fiscal measures to fight the virus which has continued to spread across several states of the federation.
IMF’s Director, Africa Department, Mr Abebe Selassie, on Wednesday, disclosed this during a press briefing at the ongoing World Bank/IMF virtual Spring Meetings in Washington DC, United States where the ‘IMF Regional Economic Outlook for Sub Saharan Africa,’ was unveiled.
According to Selassie, although the medium-term focus for the Federal Government would be revenue mobilisation, the immediate focus at the moment should be how to deploy resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the near term, no amount of resources should be spared in putting behind the health crises that Nigeria faces from COVID-19 pandemic. So we see scope for more support of policies.
In the fiscal side, Nigeria has requested for more support under the Rapid Financing Instrument. This is a quick dispensing resource that government can use to strengthen health spending, to provide social support to people.
There is also scope for having exchange rate policy framework that will be supportive of the fiscal stance. So we look forward to those policies to be adopted to support Nigeria to put this crisis behind it.
This submission is coming in wake of the earlier submission by the body on Tuesday where it projected that Nigeria’s economy would contract by -3.4 per cent in 2020 from 2.2 per cent in 2019.
The Washington-based Fund expects the economy to grow by 2.4 per cent in 2021, as IMF chief economist, Gita Gopinath, disclosed this while presenting the world economic outlook at the virtual Spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington D.C, USA.