Nigeria’s President Buhari to sign 2018 budget today

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Barring last minute change of official schedule, President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the 2018 Appropriation Bill tomorrow, Naija247news has learnt.

According to statement from the presidency spokesman Femi Adesina last week to newsmen in Abuja

Lawmakers in Africa’s most-populous nation last month sent spending plans for this year of 9.1 trillion naira ($25 billion) to Buhari to sign into law. That’s 5.8 percent more than what Buhari presented to them in November and a fifth bigger than last year’s budget.

Nigeria’s economy is struggling to recover from a 2016 slump, the worst in 25 years, after first-quarter growth was 1.95 percent, below the 2.6 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Notwithstanding the miss, increased revenue from oil, the nation’s biggest export and foreign-currency earner, will help spur growth for the rest of the year and meet the government’s target, Adeyemi Dipeolu, Buhari’s economic adviser, said in a May 30 interview.

Higher oil prices have already helped boost Nigeria’s foreign reserves, stabilized the currency, and improved the supply of dollars needed to import factory inputs. This has helped reduce the inflation rate to a level that the central bank said could prompt it to consider an interest-rate cut for the first time in more than two years. That window could be closing given inflationary pressures expected from increased spending in the second half of the year.

“Downward pressure on the oil price or domestic production shortfalls due to pipeline sabotage would immediately result in severe revenue shortfalls,” Liewerscheidt said. “Either way, growth is still nowhere near Nigeria’s 6 percent pre-crisis average.”

Africa’ most-populous nation of about 200 million people has an urban annual population growth rate of 6.5 percent, according to the National Population Commission. The International Monetary Fund forecasts Nigeria’s economy will expand 2.1 percent this year from less than 1 percent in 2017.

The $25 billion sought on investment inflows “should be seen as just that, a target,” Khan said. “It is better to try to achieve a big foreign-direct-investment target. Even if only some of that is achieved, it will still be beneficial. High aspirations do little harm.”

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