Tuesday, January 5, 2016 8:32 am
President Muhammadu Buhari will meet today with Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), who arrived Abuja on Monday.
The meeting comes amidst deepening woes for crude oil, which accounts for about 60 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue and pressure that the country devalue its currency, a suggestion President Buhari has said is of zero-benefit to Nigeria.
The outlook in the next few weeks for oil is even worse with forecasts by Goldman Sachs that crude oil price may crash to about $20 in the next few weeks. It currently sells for about $37 and resisted on Monday an upward bounce with the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Lagarde arrived Nigeria on Monday on a three day visit to engage policy makers on ways to promote economic development in the country.
The French woman was welcomed by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, at the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
In a statement released by the IMF, the visit to Nigeria was also to provide an opportunity to strengthen the Fund’s partnership with the largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa.
Apart from meeting President Muhammadu Buhari and his economic team, Lagarde will also meet legislators, senior leaders, prominent businessmen and women, and representatives of civil society.
“Ms. Lagarde said ahead of her trip, Nigeria is working hard to improve its business environment, promote opportunities for growth in the private sector, and strengthen social cohesion in all areas.
“I look forward to productive meetings with President Buhari and his colleagues as they address important economic challenges, most importantly the impact of low oil prices,’’ she said.
Lagarde at the end of her visit to Nigeria would head to Cameroon for a two-day visit