President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja said his administration would look inwards and enforce regulations to stop financial leakages to mitigate the effect of dwindling oil prices on the Nigerian economy.
A statement issued by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the President stated this when he received the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms Christine Lagarde.
Buhari said that his administration would adopt global best practices in generating more revenue, and also enforce greater discipline, probity and accountability in all revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government.
“We have just come out of budget discussions after many weeks of taking into consideration the many needs of the country, and the down turn of the economy with falling oil prices and the negative economic forecasts.
“We are working very hard and with the budget as our way forward, we will do our best to ensure that our country survives the current economic downturn.
“We have also told all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government that are on our watch, they will fully account for all funds that get into their coffers,’’ he said.
The president said that the federal government was reviewing its operational costs and had directed all the MDAs to cut down on their overhead costs.
Buhari said the federal government would welcome the technical support and expertise of the IMF for its plans to diversify the Nigerian economy and further unleash its growth potentials.
In her remarks, Lagarde said that the IMF would be willing to assist the federal government in plugging revenue leakages, tracing stolen funds and restructuring its tax system.
She said that Nigeria had all the potentials to overcome the current economic challenge of falling commodity prices without resorting to the IMF for financial support.