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Nigeria needs new revenues - IMF chief

Tuesday, January 05, 2016 - 01:40

The head of the IMF has endorsed Nigeria's efforts to tackle corruption, while saying it needs to reduce its reliance on oil amid a sharp fall in crude prices. As David Pollard reports, Christine Lagarde's visit comes at the start of what could be a challenging year for Africa's biggest economy.

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Nestle's one foreign firm in Nigeria for whom 2015 wasn't the best. The year saw growth down to under 6 per cent - though that was still above sub-Saharan Africa's expected 3.7 per cent, its weakest since 2009. This the verdict during the year from Nestle Nigeria chief, Dharnesh Gordhon. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NESTLE NIGERIA, DHARNESH GORDHON, SAYING: "I think overall the consumer sentiment is definitely much lower, so confidence in the market is lower, so if you look at our customer confidence it is certainly being impacted by the challenges that we face in Nigeria." So can Nigeria spend its way out of trouble? After President Buhari announced a record budget for 2016, the government's pinning hopes on doubling its deficit to around 11 billion dollars. Amid a prolonged slide in oil prices, lost income in its main earner to be made up, it's planned, by a tripling of capital expenditure. New sources of revenues are a necessity, according to IMF chief Christine Lagarde, as she visited Buhari. Though not necessarily from the IMF itself. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, CHRISTINE LAGARDE, SAYING: "We are not into program negotiations. And frankly at this point in time given the determination and resilience displayed by the president and his team I don't see why an IMF program would be needed." Lagarde also gave Buhari a thumbs up for his high-profile drive against corruption. Last week, he told Nigerian television he'd seen documents suggesting proceeds from crude oil sales had been diverted. Former oil minister Diezani Alison-Maduke is under investigation - she's denied any wrongdoing. But Buhari's latest comments suggest other officials might also be named.

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Nigeria needs new revenues - IMF chief

Tuesday, January 05, 2016 - 01:40