President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday assured the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Nigeria will look inwards to overcome her economic challenges.
Towards this end, the president said his administration would enforce regulations to block financial loopholes and adopt global best practices in generating more revenue to mitigate the effect of dwindling global oil prices on the nation’s economy.
A statement by Presidential spokesman Mr. Femi Adesina, quoted Mr. Buhari as saying this at the State House in Abuja Tuesday while receiving the IMF Managing Director, Ms Christine Lagarde.
The president, the statement further said, told Ms Lagarde that his administration would also enforce greater discipline, probity and accountability in all revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government.
“We have just come out of budget discussions after many weeks of taking into consideration the many needs of the country, and the down turn of the economy with falling oil prices and the negative economic forecasts.
“We are working very hard and with the budget as our way forward, we will do our best to ensure that our country survives the current economic downturn.
“We have also told all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government that on our watch, they will fully account for all funds that get into their coffers”, President Buhari told the IMF boss.
He said the Federal Government was reviewing its operational costs and had directed all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to cut down on their overhead costs.
President Buhari also stated that his administration would welcome the technical support and expertise of the IMF for its plans to diversify the Nigerian economy and further unleash its growth potentials.
Mr. Adesina quoted Lagarde as saying that the IMF would be willing to assist the Federal Government in plugging revenue leakages, tracing stolen funds and restructuring its tax system.
She was also quoted to have observed that Nigeria had all the potentials to overcome the current economic challenge of falling commodity prices without resorting to the IMF for financial support.
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