Finaly, Senate Approves ‘Controversial’ 2016 Record Budget

The Nigerian Senate passed the budget for 2016 on Thursday, calling for record spending to an economy hit hard by a slump in oil prices.

President Muhammadu Buhari presented a record $30 billion budget in December but asked for its withdrawal a month later to make changes after a further drop in oil prices.

The total budget has not changed but the deficit has risen to 3 trillion naira ($15 billion) from 2.2 trillion.

“The bill is hereby read the third time and passed. Now it’s the point of the executive to faithfully implement it,” Senate President Bukola Saraki told the assembly.

Funding of the budget remains unclear as oil revenues, which make up about 70 percent of Nigeria’s income, have slumped, whacking its currency and drying up development projects.

In January, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun Nigeria said Nigeria planned to borrow up to $5 billion from multiple sources, including the Eurobond market, but officials have provided no update since then.

Nigeria has in recent months held exploratory talks with the World Bank and also tried to secure funding from the African Development Bank and China’s export bank.

On Wednesday, Adeosun said the government planned capital expenditures worth $1.7 billion alone in the next quarter to revive growth.

The budget is based on an oil price of $38 a barrel and crude production of 2.2 million barrels a day, in line with current output. ($1 = 199.0000 naira)

Reuters

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