Nigerian Lawmakers Increase 2018 Spending Plans to $25 Billion - BLOOMBERG
By Tope Alake
New budget estimate is 5.8% more than what president proposed
Approval of 2018 expenditure plans have been delayed
Nigerian lawmakers increased spending plans for 2018 by almost 6 percent from what President Muhammadu Buhari proposed in November.
Of the new proposed budget of 9.1 trillion naira ($25 billion), 3.5 trillion naira is for recurrent expenditure, 2.8 trillion naira for capital spending and 2.2 trillion naira for debt servicing, according to a paper of proceedings in the House of Representatives released Tuesday. Provisions are also made for go for statutory transfers and other expenditure.
Buhari had proposed spending of 8.6 trillion naira in a speech to lawmakers on Nov. 7. The approval process has since been delayed as legislators scrutinized the budgets of ministries and other government departments. Both the Senate and the lower chamber have put the budget on their agenda for the week, giving rise to expectations it may be approved this week.
“Higher revenues on the back of the higher-than-expected oil price, may partly explain the proposal for a bigger budget,” said Yvonne Mhango, a Johannesburg-based economist at Renaissance Capital.
If Buhari objects to the increase, it may lead to further delays to the passage of a budget that has been with the lawmakers for more than five months, according to Abiodun Keripe, analyst at Lagos-based Elixir Investment. “If they can’t find a middle ground, it means the budget passage will be delayed further,” he said.