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IMF team arrives Nigeria for talks on economic development

Written by Maritime First

…. As Naira weakens against dollar at parallel market

The Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Christine Lagarde on Monday arrived in Nigeria on a four-day visit to engage policy makers on ways to promote economic development in the country.

Lagarde 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.

According to the statement, Lagarde will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and his economic team, 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.

It stated that Lagarde at the end of her visit to Nigeria would head to Cameroon for a two-day visit. 

Meanwhile, the Naira on Monday depreciated by 0.8 per cent to exchange at N265 to the dollar at the parallel market.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the greenback lost N2 to the dollar from its weekend value of N263.

However, at the official interbank window, the Naira exchanged at N197 to the dollar.

Traders at the market were hopeful that the Naira would rebound in 2016 if the apex bank continued to enforce its policies at the foreign exchange market.

Besides, the price of crude oil at the international market hedged up to 38.9 dollars per barrel from about 35.7 dollars per barrel at the weekend. 

Oil prices rose on Monday after a breakdown in diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran that some speculated could result in supply restrictions.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, cut diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday in response to the storming of its embassy in Tehran following Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shi’ite cleric on Saturday.

NAN with additional report from The Citizen Ng

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