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IMF: Import Restrictions in Nigeria and Other African Countries Hinder Business Operations

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reported that import restrictions in Nigeria and other African countries are creating challenges for businesses. This was highlighted in the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, titled “A Tepid and Pricey Recovery.”

The report explained that both import restrictions and shortages of foreign currency are significant obstacles to business operations in the region. Countries like Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria are particularly affected.

The IMF noted that these challenges are arising just as companies in the region have begun to recover to pre-pandemic levels of profitability. However, the economic recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa is facing global uncertainties and shocks, including rising interest rates. These factors are forcing many countries to divert spending from essential capital investments to debt servicing, which hampers progress in education and food security.

The report highlighted that only 65% of schoolchildren in Sub-Saharan Africa complete their primary and secondary education, compared to the global average of 87%. Food insecurity is also a major issue, especially in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The IMF warned that the lack of liquidity is threatening the region’s growth prospects. With limited funds available to meet development needs, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, the future generations’ educational and nutritional outcomes are at risk. Nearly three in ten school-age children are not attending school, and of those who do, only about 65% complete their education.

 

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