I ’ll take one more online, and that is on Nigeria. The question is the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, has said the country will not apply for an IMF program. What does this say about Nigeria and the U.N. appeal, which we just mentioned, or the IMF?
You know, Nigeria is clearly facing a challenging outlook, as we have said before. The authorities have initiated some measures, but more remains to be done. Urgency is needed in implementing a coherent and credible package of monetary, fiscal, and structural policies, as the window for bold reforms is closing, as the 2019 elections are approaching fast.
The IMF staff concluded the 2017 Article IV consultation with the authorities earlier this year, and the Board discussion is scheduled for later in March.
It’s true the Nigerian authorities have not approached the IMF for a program, have not. As such, there are no discussions or negotiations going on regarding a program with Nigeria.
However, and again, as we have said before, the Fund continues to provide technical assistance and have a productive dialogue with the authorities, and we stand ready to help should the country make a request for financial assistance.
Being excerpts from Transcript Of IMF Press Briefing Thursday, February 23, 2017