International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director, Christine Lagarde is in Nigeria on a 4-day visit to advise Africa’s largest oil producer on how to recover from the shock of falling oil prices on the international market.
The oil price has slid to $37 a barrel, a tough feat for Nigeria where 70% of revenue is realized through oil sales internationally.
Lagarde is meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and newly installed Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun.
The Nigerian President recently announced a record budget for 2016. He plans to triple expenditure in a move to help the country adjust to the downturn in oil, which lost almost two-thirds of its value in the last year.
Nigeria’s Central Bank has also issued a directive restricting the use of debit and credit cards abroad as a temporary measure to limit the flow of foreign currency out of the country.
Nigeria’s currency Naira has also weakened further against the dollar, this on the heels of a forecast that announced a budget deficit of 2.2 trillion naira, about $11-billion.
Lagarde will deliver a speech to lawmakers from Nigeria’s National Assembly and will also meet with business leaders during the visit. Also on the agenda for the IMF chief is a meeting with finance ministers from the six member nations of the economic and monetary community of Central Africa – CEMAC – she’ll address hat group on January 8th.