WHILE explaining the reasons why the Federal Government did not see International Monetary Fund’s loan window as amongst its preferred bailout options, Minister of finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said the IMF reputation among Nigerians is at its lowest ebb.
She noted that many Nigerians have negative perception about the IMF such that taking its package may not go down well with the people who are very critical to decision taking in Nigeria’s democratic government.
“I am sorry I am not a politician so I am going to say it as it is. In Nigeria, IMF does not enjoy a good reputation. There is a stigma associated with the organisation. So, going to IMF to take a loan will be counter-productive because we may not enjoy the support of the people,” Adeosun said.
While assuring that the government would continue to interact with the multilateral institution on the way to move the economy forward, the minister said that the idea of taking loans from it for now was not being considered by the Nigerian government.
The Minister, who said Nigeria was in discussion with the World Bank’s, Rwanda Minister of Finance and other multi-lateral institutions about getting loans to bridge the gap in the 2016 budget, said rather than taking the loan, government was determined to use internally-designed strategies to mitigate the gaps in public finance.
She explained that the immediate strategies of government now was to sustain internally generated revenue, IGR, sustain the anti-corruption crusade by reducing frauds in payroll and other expenditure items in the public sector and building critical infrastructure to bridge 2016 budget gaps and create a strong pedestal for diversifying the nation’s economy.