‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja

Daily Courier – Next year’s general election and increasing food prices are threats to the country’s economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned.

In its Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, the IMF also identified “high global energy prices, spending pressures within a narrow fiscal space”, as other problems.

In report released yesterday in Abuja, the IMF said “persisting insecurity – particularly banditry and kidnapping – and the forthcoming 2023 elections that may affect the performance of the economy”.

The agency’s regional representative for Nigeria, Ari Aisien presented the report.

Other downside risks he identified are, low vaccination rates, monetary tightening in advanced economies, muted foreign investment inflows and exchange rate pressures.

It added that adequate measures are being taken to support the global economy from shocks following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of these measures are the $23 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocation, $100 billion SDR rechanneling as well as a swift movement on the common framework.

Despite these interventions, Aisien said there are “huge financing needs that would be required to boost the performance of the global economy.”

According to Aisien, about $425 billion would be needed to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, while between $30 billion and $50 billion per year would also be required for climate adaptation.

For commodity importers, the IMF Resident Representative said the Russia-Ukraine war would raise the yearly financing needs to between $6 billion and $10.

Speaking at the event, Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, said the government is implementing series of measures to boost revenue.

Akabueze admitted that more work needed to be done particularly within the fiscal space, but noted that “some of the initiatives being implemented by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had started yielding results”.