The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has applauded Nigeria’s response to the declining prices of oil just as African finance ministers expressed concern that the slow growth of the Chinese economy will impact negatively on many African countries.
Responding to a question at the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings, yesterday, the IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, commended Nigeria’s strategic response to the oil price slide.
According to her, as one of the seven oil-producing nations in the African region affected by the revenue loss, Nigeria’s response was commendable.
Seventy per cent of Nigeria’s revenue is derived from the sale of crude petroleum products, and since the middle of last year, the country and other Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have suffered over 50 per cent loss in revenue.
In a bid to manage the development, the federal government rolled out a cocktail of belt-tightening measures aimed at minimising the vulnerability arising from the attendant revenue losses from oil exports.
Such measures include surcharges on some luxury consumption, reduction in overseas trainings by government officials, voluntary cut in National Assembly budget, salaries of President Goodluck Jonathan and other top government functionaries as well as State House budget.
Meanwhile, African finance ministers participating at the ongoing meetings have rued over the impact of the slow growth rate of China’s economy on the continent.
China, which has become a major player in Africa’s economy in the last few years, has seen its growth at its slowest pace in three years as investment slowed and demand fell in key markets.
The African finance ministers, who spoke at a press conference were those of Liberia, Amara Konneh; Central African Republic, Abdalla Kadre Asane and Madagasacar, Gervias Rakotoarimanana.
In response to a question on what the slow economic growth of China portends for Africa, the ministers said as a major economic partner to Africa, funding infrastructural projects and a major commodities importer from the continent, African countries will feel the impact.