The International Monetary Fund has advised the Nigerian Government to prioritise structural reforms and growth-friendly fiscal consolidation occasioned by the increasing non-oil revenue revenues in order to stabilize the nation’s economy.
The IMF Senior resident representative in Nigeria, Dr Amine Mati, gave the advice amongst other fiscal imperatives he considered crucial to improving the nation’s economic performance at the September breakfast edition of the Nigeria-South Africa chamber of commerce in Lagos.
Mati, in his presentation titled ‘Nigeria: From Fragile to Stable Growth’, charged the government to broaden the fiscal space, increase priority expenditures and reduce its interest to revenue ratio to about 30 percent.
The IMF chief, who was the guest speaker at the forum pointed out further that the Nigerian government should focus on four key critical measures in the area of non-oil sector revenue mobilization.
He identified the areas as tax administration measures to double compliance rate to at least 50 percent; Value Added Tax reforms; rationalizing tax exemptions and incentives; and significantly scale up social and investment spending.
In addition, Mati listed the other key steps that must be taken by Nigeria to achieve a stable economic system as, maintaining a tight monetary policy; achieving a unified exchange rate; and attaining an enhanced banking sector resilience.
The IMF representative said that lower oil prices; tighter external market conditions; policy implementation delays; and fragility of the banking sector constituted areas government should do more.
In his appraisal of the Federal Government’s ongoing policy reforms across the broad spectrum of the nation’s economy, Mati noted the potential positive implications of the reforms in the area of doing business.
He, however, hinted that the October, 2018 World Bank Doing Business report would reflect in details the impact of the ongoing reforms of the Federal Government.
The IMF chief noted further that the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) held a lot of potential in driving the nation’s economic growth.