The International Monetary Fund has said stalled per-capita growth, poverty and high food insecurity have exacerbated the ongoing cost-of-living crisis in Nigeria.

The report came amid rising inflation, exchange crisis, weak economic growth and business shutdowns.

The global lender said this in a new report titled ‘IMF Executive Board Concludes Post Financing Assessment with Nigeria.’

According to the report, low revenue collection has hampered the provision of services and public investment.

It noted that headline inflation reached 27 percent year-on-year in October (food inflation 32 per cent), reflecting the effects of fuel subsidy removal, exchange rate depreciation, and poor agricultural production in the country.

The report read in part, “Nigeria faces a difficult external environment and wide-ranging domestic challenges. External financing (market and official) is scarce, and global food prices have surged, reflecting the repercussions of conflict and geo-economic fragmentation.

“Per-capita growth in Nigeria has stalled, poverty and food insecurity are high, exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis. Low reserves and very limited fiscal space constrain the authorities’ option space. Against this backdrop, the authorities’ focus on restoring macroeconomic stability and creating conditions for sustained, high and inclusive growth is appropriate.”

The IMF also expressed optimism that the new administration had made a strong start, tackling deep-rooted structural issues in challenging circumstances.

February 12, 2024

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