Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday presented a record 7.298 trillion naira ($24 billion) budget for 2017 to lawmakers which is aimed at pulling Africa’s biggest economy out of its first recession in 25 years.
Buhari said the budget which marked an increase of 20.4 percent on last year’s spending plan, seeks to boost spending to revive the economy. The recession was largely caused by low global oil prices, as crude sales account for two-thirds of the government’s revenue.*
He said N520 billion out of the N7.298trn budget was allocated to the ministry of power, housing and works. Capital expenditure gets 30.7 percent in the budget which is 20.4 percent bigger than the 2016 budget.
The allocation for the Presidential Amnesty Programme was also increased to N65 billion.
“The allocation of the presidential amnesty programme has been increased to N65 billion in 2017 budget. Furthermore, N45 billion in funding has been provisioned in funding for the rehabilitation of the northeast,” Buhari said.
The Ministry of Agriculture will get N92 billion while the Ministry of interior capital expenditure is N63 billion.
Buhari project will focus on a projected oil output of 2.2 million barrels per day at an assumed price of $42.5 dollars per barrel.
The president also said he wants to restore oil output to 2.2 million barrels per day following a series of attacks since January on energy facilities in the southern Niger Delta that deepened the recession by hitting the economic mainstay.
The attacks cut oil production in the OPEC member, which stood at around 2.1 million barrels per day at the start of 2016, by more than a third earlier this year. “We must all come together” to achieve peace in the Niger Delta, Buhari said.
Responding to the presentation, the speaker of the house of representatives, Honorable Yakubu Dorgara noted that It is frustrating that they go through the annual Budget cycle/process of Budget presentation by the President.
He added that the National Assembly process the passage and signing into law every year, without unlocking the full potentials of such Budgets for our citizens.
“This is because implementation and execution of the agreed Budget is always a major challenge year in year out. Sometimes, implementation rate is as low as 30%, most times it is never higher than 50% at the best of times,”
The budget must be agreed by parliament before being sent back to the president to be passed into law, which could take months. The 2016 budget became law in May after being delayed by several months by wrangling between the government and the upper house of parliament.