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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato concluded his two-day visit to Nigeria on August 3, noting that he was very impressed by the Nigerian government’s strong commitment to its far-reaching economic and social reform agenda—the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS)—but warned against the potentially destabilizing effects of rising inflation. This was the first stop on a three-country visit to Africa, which also includes Gabon and Uganda. In a message to IMF staff from Gabon on August 4, he said that he was closely following the events related to the reported al Qaeda security threat to the IMF headquarters and other financial institutions, while keeping his commitment to meet with African leaders “in support of our important work in this continent.” He reassured IMF staff on steps taken to ensure their security, and stressed the importance of continuing the IMF’s work on behalf of its members (see box, page 233).