20th December, 2011
The International Monetary Fund, IMF, on Monday in Abuja expressed satisfaction with President Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s Transformation Agenda and promised to offer support and technical assistance to it.
The IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, expressed the satisfaction when she visited Jonathan at the State House.
Emerging from a closed-door meeting with the President, Lagarde told State House correspondents that they took time to review the transformation agenda and that she was impressed with the initiative.
Lagarde expressed optimism that the proposed changes would improve the economy of the nation and would be of immense benefits to Nigerians.
â€œAs the Managing Director of the IMF, I was extremely impressed with the world that he is leading, with the energy and pace at which he wants to transform the economy, create jobs, focus on agriculture and that is extremely impressive.
â€œThe IMF is a partner, has been a partner of Nigeria for many years, we have also transformed our institutions and we are here to listen, understand, support if it is needed, we provide technical assistance concerning the banks restructuring initiative, concerning some of those measures but we are very impressed with the realisation.â€
the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was also at the meeting, said the IMFâ€™s MD was one of those who assisted the country to get the debt relief in 2006.
Okonjo-Iweala said that Lagarde as Minister of Finance in France when Nigeria was negotiating the debt relief personally pushed the Paris Club to give the country the relief.
According to Okonjo-Iweala, unlike what many people think, IMF is a supporting agency and does not force any policy on any nation.
â€œBecause of her, we got $30 billion wiped off of our books. This is her first visit as Managing Director to Africa and she chose to come to Nigeria because she sees Nigeria as a powerful country in Africa.
â€œIMF has changed completely from what people know. IMF allows us to do our own policies and if we ask them to help with capacity building they can help and if we donâ€™t ask them, then they are just there to support us.â€
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IMF chief also is scheduled to attend a forum in Lagos before leaving for Niger Republic Today.