This agreement followed a visit to Niger by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Christoph A. Klingen, which visited Niamey from October 17 to October 30, 2018 to conduct discussions on the third review of the program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.
Niger’s program was approved by the IMF Board on January 23, 2017.
A statement from the IMF said “The government of Niger remains strongly committed to the reforms in its Social and Economic Development Program 2017-2021, supported by the ECF arrangement. Program implementation has been satisfactory.
“Macroeconomic stability remains firmly in place and growth is picking up despite a challenging external environment. It is expected to rise from 5.2 percent this year to 6.5 percent in 2019, with a favorable crop season and the start of several large-scale projects.
Annual growth is expected to average just above 7 percent over the next five years buttressed by a series of new projects, notably a pipeline for crude oil exports, and greater efficiency in agriculture supported by the 3N Initiative. These projects’ local content and fiscal contributions are the key benefits to the domestic economy. Inflation is expected to decline below the WAEMU norm in 2019.
“The fiscal situation remains broadly satisfactory, with the overall deficit expected to improve markedly to 4.5 percent of GDP in 2018. The draft budget for next year aims to generate fiscal space for priority expenditures while advancing toward WAEMU deficit targets. The emphasis is on revenue mobilization and higher quality and transparency in public spending. The augmentation of IMF financing will help protect social spending in the face of adverse shocks.
“On the broader structural reform agenda, the IMF team welcomes the authorities’ continuing efforts to improve the business environment through financial inclusion and clearance of domestic payments arrears. Recent measures to increase school attendance, especially for girls, will help realize national objectives for gender equality. Ongoing reforms of the civil service and public administrations will help make government more efficient and transparent. The authorities are further committed to improve governance in the public sector.
“The team met with President Issoufou Mahamadou and Prime Minister Brigi Rafini. It also met with the Minister of Finance Massoudou Hassoumi, Madame Minister in charge of Planning, and the Ministers of Petroleum, Special Counsel to the President, the High Commissioner for the 3N Initiative, the Minister Delegate for the Budget, and the National Director of the BCEAO, as well as other senior government officials. Staff also met with representatives of the private sector and the donor community.”
- Countries: Africa