IMF BLAMES #ENDSARS PROTEST ON ECONOMIC HARDSHIP, POVERTY & UNEMPLOYMENT

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Mr. Abebe Amero Selassie, Director, African Department, IMF

Against the backdrop of #ENDSARS protest and subsequent civil chaos which has negatively impacted on the social and economic activities in Nigeria, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has attributed the civil unrest in the country to the vulnerable state of the economy, unemployment and the poverty level.

Mr.AbebeAmero Selassie, Director, African Department of IMF gave this submission during the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Regional Economic Outlook briefing in Washington, USA.

According to Mr. Abe, the civil unrest and social instability in the country can only be blamed on the economic difficulties currently facing the country as well as Nigeria’s economy low growth prospect which was as a result of decline in the price of oil.

He therefore, called on the Nigerian government to tap into other areas of non-oil resources by investing in health and education, which serves as a bedrock in improving the economic potential of the country.

According to the IMF Director, “It is critical for the nation to get policy-induced barriers out of the way to facilitate stronger economic growth. The government needs to do more to raise revenues through the area of non-oil resources to be able to invest in health education which would, you know, allow people to be more successful at getting jobs but also improve the economy potential”.

Speaking on the importance of the COVID-19 support fund to Nigeria, Mr. Selassie noted that the financial aid was to help cushion the awful effects of the pandemic on the nation’s economy.

He further noted that: “it is an important need for the government to spend the resources on health, education, and other important areas at a difficult time like this; as I think the government is committed to provide us with an explanation of what the resources have been used for and audits of how the fund was used in due course.”

It would be recalled that earlier in the year, the IMF approved a US$3.4 billion Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) for Nigeria to support the country’s effort towards curtailing the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic activities in the country.

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