Annex I—The Authorities’ Views
The government of the Republic of Niger would like to thank the IMF for its ongoing support, including during many years of crisis. That support allowed Niger to contain the impact of several crises, maintain macroeconomic stability, and ensure the viability of its public finances. The Government also thanks the teams responsible for the Ex-post Assessment and the Article IV Consultation for their courage and patience working in a sometimes difficult environment where information can be hard to obtain and the climate is not always favorable.
The government of Niger views the assessments by the IMF teams positively and, on the whole, finds them fair and relevant. The government would nevertheless like to offer several comments and supplemental remarks with the aim of enriching the reports.
Niger moved from “moderate” to “low” risk of debt distress in the 2010 Debt Sustainability Analysis (Country Report No. 10/146) though it rose back to “moderate” risk in 2011.
The number of structural PCs and benchmarks under the 2005-07 PRGF arrangement and 2008–10 ECF arrangement averaged 7.7 and 5 per review respectively, below the averages of 8.8 and 8.4 for other PRGF/ECF arrangements (www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2010/030910.pdf; Table 1.b).
A new Tax Code comprising significant improvements was recently submitted to parliament.
Recently the authorities agreed on a strategy to gradually phase out the subsidy and started in June 2011 to adjust retail prices in line with international prices. The government committed to keeping expenditure on the fuel subsidy in 2011 below the 2010 level (maximum of 1.1 percent of GDP).
See for example “Petroleum Product Subsidies: Costly, Inequitable, and Rising”, SPN No. 2010/05.
“Country Assistance Strategy” (2008), and “Second Growth Policy Reform Credit” (2011).
“Niger: Investing for Prosperity: A Poverty Assessment,” Report No. 61393-NE, May 2011.
World Bank and AfDB staffs emphasized the importance of Fund support in PFM, revenue mobilization, and natural resource management as the platform underpinning their engagement and reform support in Niger.
In May 2008, the government and donors signed a protocol agreement on PEMFAR aimed at coordinating support and establishing a set of indicators. The agreement could not be fully implemented because of the political environment but the authorities are committed to developing a new action plan.
The Bank is currently working with the authorities to develop a financial sector strategy.