Nigeria’s president presents new plan for economy

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FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Bola Tinubu arrives for the closing session of the New Global Financial Pact Summit, Friday, June 23, 2023 in Paris, France. Lewis Joly/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu, presented a new 27.5 trillion naira ($34.8 billion) budget for 2024 to federal lawmakers, showcasing efforts to stabilize the country’s economy and address the ongoing security crisis. Tinubu outlined the budget’s primary goal as maintaining the strong foundation for sustainable economic development initiated by the new government. The proposed budget, designed to reduce the hardships of the nation’s 210 million people, anticipates a minimum 3.76% economic growth in the coming year, with a focus on infrastructure and social welfare programmes.

Tinubu, who introduced economic reforms during his six months in office to stimulate economic growth and attract foreign investment, acknowledged challenges arising from these measures, such as the removal of costly gas subsidies which exacerbated hardships for many citizens. The 2024 spending plan also aims to enhance the capabilities of security forces dealing with extremist violence and rebel attacks that have plagued Nigeria’s north for over a decade.

Approximately 8.25 trillion naira ($10.4 billion) in the proposed budget is allocated for servicing Nigeria’s substantial debt, with a similar amount set aside for capital expenditures. Tinubu noted that projected debt service constitutes 45% of the expected total revenue for the next year. In response, the government intends to prioritize transparency, accountability, and collaboration with development partners and the private sector to enhance effectiveness.

The budget awaits deliberation and voting by lawmakers until the end of the month.

 

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