An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Cheikh Anta Gueye visited Niamey from June 22-26, 2014 for the fourth review of Niger’s financial and economic program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The ECF arrangement for Niger was approved on March 16, 2012 (see Press Release No. 12/90). At the conclusion of the mission, Mr.Gueye, issued the following statement:
"Overall Niger’s economy is performing well despite the difficult external environment. In 2013, real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.1 percent, driven by the primary sector. The government program promoting the sale of cereals at a moderate price, to support vulnerable groups and to improve markets, helped partly in maintaining inflation under control at 2.3 percent in 2013. Limited fiscal space and low absorptive capacity slowed down the implementation of public investments for pro-poor growth.
“Overall, program implementation was satisfactory as of end-December 2013. All quantitative performance criteria, except for government net domestic financing, were met. The slight overrun of the latter by about 0.7 percent of GDP reflects unexpected food security and security-related expenditures. Fiscal targets such as basic balance, government revenue, spending on poverty, and reduction in domestic payment arrears were met, and some of them with comfortable margins. However, delays have been observed in the implementation of structural reform measures, particularly those aimed at strengthening public financial management.
“The medium-term economic outlook remains favorable. Growth is expected to rebound in 2014 up to 6.3 percent, driven mainly by mining and agriculture sectors. If current trends are maintained, average inflation would remain in check. But there are recurrent risks from the fragile regional security situation and the country's vulnerability to exogenous shocks such as drought and flooding.
“The authorities have reiterated their commitment to stay the course by keeping the economic program on track. The authorities are preparing a supplementary budget to respond to emerging challenges, and it is important to ensure that revenues are realized and borrowing contained to preserve the sustainability of the fiscal position in the years ahead. The mission and the authorities agreed on a revised structural reforms calendar.
The IMF mission thanks the authorities for their warm hospitality and constructive dialogue.”
The mission met with H.E. President Issoufou, H.E. Prime Minister Rafini, members of the government, top administrative officials, and representatives of the private sector.