Nigerian president offers record $34 billion budgetChristian Fernsby ▼ | October 9, 2019
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari presented a record 10.33 trillion-naira ($33.8bn) budget for 2020 to lawmakers.
Africa Muhammadu Buhari
Topics: Nigeria president
Nigeria emerged from its first recession in 25 years in 2017. Growth is still sluggish, although higher oil prices and recent debt sales have helped the country to accrue billions of dollars in foreign reserves.
Buhari told lawmakers at a joint session of the upper and lower chambers of parliament that the "economic environment remains challenging" but said the budget was expected to increase the pace of growth.
"The 2020 budget is expected to accelerate the pace of our economic recovery, promote economic diversification, enhance competitiveness and ensure social inclusion," said Buhari, who won an election in February and began his second four-year term in May.
The president has repeatedly stated his desire to boost non-oil sources of revenue since crude oil sales make up around 90 percent of foreign exchange. Low prices were the main reason for the economy's slide into recession in 2016.
Economic growth slowed to an annual rate of 1.94 percent in the three months to the end of June, the second quarter in a row of decline.
"We are optimistic of attaining higher and more inclusive GDP [gross domestic product] growth," Buhari said.
The spending plan, which includes a value-added tax increase from five percent to 7.5 percent, is up from the 8.83 trillion-naira budget for 2019 and tops the previous record spending plan which was the 9.12 trillion-naira budget for 2018. ■