By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja – The International Monitory Fund (IMF) says it will promote gender equality and its impact on growth, economic diversification in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2018.
Mrs Monique Newiak, IMF Economist, Western 1 Division, Africa Department, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, when she led a delegation of the IMF team to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, in his office.
“We will deal with the issues of promoting gender equality and its strong impact on economic growth in the first quarter of 2018.
“We will also look at a broad range of indicators, such as economy growth, challenges of the economy, unemployment rate, key policies such as the physical deficit.
“This is in terms of its composition, such as revenue, exchange rates, balance of payments, monitory policy and what the Central Bank of Nigeria is doing, and how it has led to different development growth in the country.
“So, we will be working with the Bureau of Statistics and we have formed our own projection base on what we learn from the government, private sectors and the civil societies and all other players,’’ she said.
Newiak said the IMF visited its 189 members on annual basis to conduct such consultations.
She noted that at the end of the consultations with government, private sector, a report will be written that would contain the full assessment of the economic situation in the country.
Responding, Ngige reaffirmed Nigeria’s position as one of the 189-member nations of the IMF.
He said that the country has made great efforts in meeting up with the constitutionality of the IMF.
According to him, the Federal Government has done a lot to take the country out of economic recession.
“We also want to let you know that the fears you are expressing about gender based discrimination in terms of work does not exist in Nigeria.
“As a matter of fact, Nigeria has implemented the Beijing Women Convention in 1995, and we do not believe that the female sex should be regarded as underdogs.
“The Nigeria Constitution, Section 16, 2D, makes provision for government as a state policy to provide shelter, food, jobs, minimum wage for all irrespective of gender.
“Also the same constitution says that there should be equal work and equal pay without discrimination,’’ he said.
According to him, the country is ready to give any technical assistance that will be beneficial to her and the IMF.
Earlier, Mr Dan Nebragho, Director, Productivity Measurement and Standards in the ministry, said the IMF team was in Nigeria to under study the situation on the labour market, economic growth and plan, among others.
Nebragho said the team was also in the country to understand the views of government in terms of policies, problems and programmes on measure being taken to address them.
He also explained that Nigeria and IMF has a long terms partnership in the economic development process of the country. (NAN)
IMF pledges to promote gender equality in 2018 Q1
By Joan Nwagwu