IMF rates Benin’s economy ahead of Nigeria despite border closure

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has rated the economy of Nigeria’s tiny neighbor, Benin Republic ahead of Nigeria’s economy despite the negative of effects of the latter’s decision to close its land borders few months ago.

According to Luc Eyraud, who led the IMF team during their visit to Benin said Benin’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by 6.4 per cent in 2019, mostly driven by the agriculture and transport sectors.

“Growth should accelerate in 2020 and remain sustained over the medium term, buttressed by vigorous cotton production, construction, and port activities,” she said.

“Consumer price inflation, affected by the high agriculture production, has been on a declining trend, falling by 1.4 per cent  in the first nine months of 2019, relative to the same period one year earlier.

“It is expected to remain well below the 3.0 per cent regional ceiling in 2019 and 2020. The fiscal deficit for 2019 is estimated at 2.3 per cent of the recently rebased GDP.

“Performance under the IMF-supported program has been very satisfactory so far this year. All end-June 2019 quantitative performance criteria and the end-September structural benchmark program were met.”

This is contrary to the words of the Director, African Department of IMF, Abebe Selassie, who said that the continuous closure of the Nigerian borders was hurting economies of Benin and Niger Republics.

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