The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concerns over the civil unrest in Lagos and some other parts of Nigeria, following the shooting of some #EndSARS protesters Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday.
The Director of IMF’s African Department, Mr. Abebe Aemro Selassie made this known during a media briefing on the ‘Africa Regional Economic Outlook,’ at the ongoing Annual Meetings of the IMF/World Bank in Washington DC
He noted that the civil unrest in Lagos, which contributes significantly to Nigeria’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP), could have a negative consequence on the economy
The IMF director called for a timely resolution of the crisis to prevent the economy, which is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, from slipping further.
He said: “Are we concerned? We are always concerned when we see protests, particularly ones that are difficult like the one in Nigeria at the moment, but also anywhere in the world, and we hope that there would be a satisfactory resolution there.”
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Selassie called for reforms as a lasting solution to averting future unrests.
He said: “That is why it is on the record we have been saying how critical it is to get all of the policies to facilitate stronger economic growth in Nigeria and for the government to do more to raise revenues from non-oil resources to be able to invest in health and education which will allow people to be more successful and getting jobs but also improve the economy’s potential.
“So, the development agenda of Nigeria has to be more vigorous so that millions of jobs that the country needs can be created and I think that agenda remains very pressing.
“On growth projections in Nigeria, these protests happened just after the period we accumulated the data for making the growth projections of this economic outlook, and much would depend really on how these protests evolve because Lagos is, of course, a very important economic hub and contributes quite a bit of economic activities to overall Nigeria activities. So, if this persists and are showing a significant effect on economic data, we would internalise them in due course,” the IMF director added.