IMF warns FG against CBN Act amendment

Date:

May 10, 2024.

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Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned the Federal Government against the proposed amendment of the Act establishing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), calling rather for the strengthening of the apex bank.

The position of the Fund was contained in the Article IV Staff Consultation Report of the Board of Governors of the global organization, which was released in Washington, yesterday.

It stated: “Directors supported the authorities’ intentions to shift to an inflation targeting regime and recommended strengthening central bank independence and communication to ensure a successful transition.

“They recommended caution regarding amendments to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act that might weaken the central bank’s autonomy.

“They supported the increase in the minimum capital for banks and urged CBN to unwind the regulatory forbearance introduced during the pandemic.

“Directors commended the authorities for restarting the cash transfer program and emphasized the urgency of scaling it up to mitigate acute food insecurity.

“They welcomed the authorities’ work on a comprehensive revenue mobilization strategy including boosting tax enforcement and broadening the tax base.

“They stressed the importance of keeping a tight monetary policy stance to put inflation on a downward path, maintaining exchange rate flexibility, and building reserves.

“Directors welcomed the removal of foreign exchange (FX) market distortions and encouraged the authorities to continue improving the functioning of the FX market, including adoption of a well-designed FX intervention framework.”

The Executive Board of the IMF met on the 29th of last month to conclude the Article IV consultation with Nigeria, following the Staff Report of their mission to the country where they held discussions with the authorities between February 12–23, 2024, in Lagos and Abuja.

According to the Fund, Nigeria under its new administration has set out on an ambitious reform path to restore macroeconomic stability and support inclusive growth.

“The authorities reformed the fuel price subsidies, unified official foreign exchange windows, and are focused on revenue mobilization, governance, and enhancing the monetary and exchange rate policy frameworks, as well as strengthening social safety nets,” it stated.

However, the board said, “Near-term risks are tilted to the downside,” but stressed a “steadfast, well-sequenced, and well-communicated reforms to restore macroeconomic stability, reduce poverty, support social cohesion, and pave the way for faster, inclusive, and resilient growth.”

The report noted that mobilizing revenue and reprioritizing expenditure, including phasing out costly and regressive energy subsidies, were critical to creating fiscal space for development spending and strengthening social protection, while maintaining debt sustainability.

They also highlighted the importance of reforms to enhance the business environment, improve security, implement key governance measures, develop human capital, boost agricultural productivity, and build climate resilience.

“These reforms are crucial to boost investor confidence, unlock Nigeria’s growth potential and diversify the economy, address food insecurity, and underpin sustainable job creation,” the report said.

Keeps Nigeria’s 2024 growth forecast at 3.3%. (www.naija247news.com).


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Azonuchechi Chukwu
Azonuchechi Chukwuhttps://gravatar.com/azonuchechivchukwu
Azonuchechi Chukwu - Business Journalist at Naija247news.com Azonuchechi Chukwu is a seasoned business journalist contributing to the insightful coverage of economic and financial news at Naija247news.com. With a passion for unraveling the complexities of the business world, Azonuchechi brings a wealth of expertise and dedication to his role. As a Business Journalist, Azonuchechi specializes in providing comprehensive analyses of market trends, corporate developments, and economic indicators. His in-depth reports offer Naija247news.com readers a nuanced understanding of the forces shaping the Nigerian and global business landscapes. Azonuchechi Chukwu's commitment to journalistic excellence is evident in his ability to translate complex financial information into accessible and engaging narratives. Whether exploring stock market fluctuations, corporate strategies, or economic policies, he strives to deliver content that empowers readers with valuable insights. With an educational background in business and a keen interest in the intersection of finance and technology, Azonuchechi stays at the forefront of industry dynamics. His coverage extends beyond traditional financial reporting, encompassing the dynamic realms of fintech, entrepreneurship, and sustainable business practices. Azonuchechi Chukwu's work goes beyond the surface, aiming to foster financial literacy and awareness among Naija247news.com's audience. By demystifying economic complexities and shedding light on emerging opportunities, he plays a pivotal role in keeping readers well-informed in the fast-paced world of business. As Naija247news.com's Business Journalist, Azonuchechi Chukwu continues to make meaningful contributions to the platform's mission of delivering timely, accurate, and relevant business news to its diverse audience. His dedication to journalistic integrity and his ability to navigate the intricacies of the business realm make him an invaluable asset to the Naija247news.com team.

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