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Wale Edun: Swift economic reforms key to post-COVID-19 recovery

Wale Edun: Swift economic reforms key to post-COVID-19 recovery
April 21
08:49 2024

Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, says swift economic reforms are key to recovering from post-COVID-19 effects.

Edun disclosed this during a press conference at the ongoing spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

According to him, the pandemic in the global economy left many nations in shock and many are yet to recover from it.

“The reality is that the global economy has not quite recovered from the COVID-19 shock and subsequent shocks, which we are all aware of,” he said.

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“But the American economy has gone back to pre-COVID levels and has grown about 8 percent over the last four years, whereas the other rich countries and some emerging countries have grown by less than that.

“I think the lesson that we have learned this week is that in attempting to reform an economy and in trying to fight inflation, the sooner the measures are implemented robustly, the quicker the period of transition back to a growing economy.”

The minister said the World Bank is in an evolution, along with the rest of the multilateral development organizations.

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According to him, there has been a voice not just from Africa, but from other less developed and poorer countries that they wanted a fairer distribution of resources and access to finance for development.

“And that voice has been heard where we hear now about a bigger, a better and a more efficient World Bank and we look forward to that because it means amongst other things, a shortage or a shortening of the period of processing of loans and project financing by the World Bank,” he said.

“As the leader of the Angola, Nigeria and South Africa constituency of the bank, I had the honour of leading that constituency to the development committee meetings, the G-24 meetings, and I chaired the African consultative meetings with the IMF and World Bank managing directors and several other bilateral engagements.

“So we’ve had robust engagements with the US treasury in particular, Britain, as well as other countries.“

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Edun said Nigeria’s participation at this year’s IMF Spring Meetings has revealed that increased domestic resource mobilisation helps in shaping fiscal consolidation.

“And at the end of the day, we can see that increased domestic resource mobilisation, prudent management of finances are the twin focal points that are shaping fiscal consolidation elsewhere, and will also be the case in our own strategy,” he said.

“As we pursue our journey to adjust energy transition, managing the diversification away from fossil fuels, decarbonisation and working towards Net Zero, an important highlight has been the announcement this week.

“At these meetings, that there will be provision of electricity to 300 million more people on the African continent between now and 2030, as a result of a concerted effort of the World Bank in conjunction with other development partners.”

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Edun said the Nigerian team has had a good outing at the World Bank/IMF spring meetings 2024.

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