Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s finance minister has called for more technical and institutional support for West African countries from the Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center West 2 (AFRITAC West 2).
The minister made the call while declaring open the sixth Steering Committee meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-AFRITAC West 2 in Abuja.
In the meeting attended by Amine Mati, the senior resident representative of IMF in Nigeria; Oral Williams, , AFRITAC West 2 Coordinator; Ben Akabueze, Director-General of Budget Office, and Babatunde Fowler, executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Adeosun, represented by Oluyinka Akintunde, her media aide, stated that the provision of more technical and institutional support for West African countries would impact significantly on the capacity development within the region.
“The ability to mobilise resources and build institutions with the capabilities to allocate them effectively is the foundation of a strong economic management engine.
“The transfer of these technical capabilities and emergence of stronger institutions will increase the economic resilience of member-countries.
“These countries will have the technical capability to successfully and independently manage their economies to effectively deliver on critical development imperatives,” the minister stated.
Adeosun assured that the Nigerian government was committed to the diversification of the economy from over-reliance on oil, adding that the economy would be shielded from the negative effects of dependence on a singular resource.
The government, she disclosed, was mobilising domestic revenue through taxes to improve the economy and foster economic development, and “AFRITAC has supported this effort by conducting the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool which provided Nigeria (and other member-countries that have successfully completed it) with an objective assessment of key components of our tax system.
“We see this work as critical to Nigeria’s future development, and would support its continued implementation,” she said.
Adeosun urged member-countries of the West African region to collaborate with AFRITAC to strengthen country ownership of the various capacity development interventions.
Delegates from Ghana, Cape Verde, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria also attended the Steering Committee meeting.
The second African Regional Technical Assistance Centre in West Africa (AFRITAC West 2), is a collaborative effort between the International Monetary Fund (IMF), recipient countries and several bilateral and multilateral partners. It originated from the IMF’s response to African leaders’ call on the international community to increase technical assistance (TA) to Africa and focus it more sharply on capacity building in core macroeconomic and financial management areas.