Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has praised Nigeria’s economic reforms during her first official visit Africa.
Lagarde held talks with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan as well as finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Monday, reportedly discussing the impact of the Euro zone debt crisis on African economies.
My mission is to come and listen and appreciate and understand exactly what economy program will be implemented in Nigeria, and the initiative and leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan, Lagarde told reporters.
I was extremely impressed with... the energy and pace at which he wants to transform the economy, create jobs and focus on agriculture.
Indeed, just last month Jonathan removed from office Farida Waziri, the head of the country's anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
On Tuesday, Lagarde, who took over the IMF last year following the sudden resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, will attend a summit in Lagos to discuss Africa’s economic future. She is then scheduled to travel to the country of Niger.
Despite vast oil reserves, Nigeria has been plagued by poor infrastructure, decades of official corruption and mismanagement of its economy.
Moreover, despite Lagarde’s rosy views on Nigeria, the country’s own economists warn of a tough climate next year – including higher government borrowing, high interest rates, high inflation and a further decline in the naira currency.