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IMF Tells ICP Nigeria, Hit By Oil Prices, May Need a Program, Welcome to Apply

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 19 -- The International Monetary Fund said that in response to fallen oil prices, “Nigeria will have to adjust” and “might need a program from the Fund,” IMF chief economic Olivier Blanchard answered Inner City Press from Beijing on January 20.

   To the IMF's World Economic Outlook Update press conference, Inner City Press submitted this question: “Please summarize what the decline in oil prices may mean for countries in Africa, and what the IMF is prepared to do about those countries negatively impacted.”

    As the second online question taken, this question was put to Blanchard, who responded:

“Most African countries are importers and so are helped. Some countries are not and the main example is Nigeria. Nigeria will have to adjust. I do not know at this stage whether they can adjust on their own or they might need a program from the Fund. If they did any member is welcome to come at this stage I have no information about it.”

  Earlier on January 19, the UN Security Council issued a Presidential Statement about, but not funding, the fight against Boko Haram. Security Council sources leaving the meeting told Inner City Press that for funding, those in the region -- i.e. Nigeria -- should be looked to first.

  But if Nigeria may even need to apply for an IMF program, is it reasonable for the powers in the UN and it Permanent Five members of the Security Council to expect it to be entire responsible for fighting Boko Haram?

  We'll have more on this.

Footnote: while Blanchard's "main example" was Nigeria, what about Angola? What about Equatorial Guinea? To the north, what about Libya? Questions, questions...


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