President Muhammadu Buhari has presented a N10.33 trillion budget for 2020 to the National Assembly, the first budget proposal since his re-election in February. The plan is predicated on crude oil production of 2.18 million barrels a day and an oil price budget bench mark of $57 per barrel. Nigeria emerged from its first recession in 25 years in 2017. Growth remains sluggish, although higher oil prices and recent debt sales have helped the country to accrue billions of dollars in foreign reserves.
Buhari told lawmakers at a joint session of the upper and lower chambers of parliament that the “economic environment remains challenging” but he said the budget was expected to increase the pace of growth. The spending plan, which includes a value-added tax increase from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent, is up from the N8.83 trillion budget for 2019 and tops the previous record budget spending plan set by the N9.12 trillion budget for 2018. Buhari’s government has repeatedly rolled out record spending plans but struggled to fund them because of lower oil production and an inability to boost non-oil exports. The budget must still be approved by parliament before being signed into law by Buhari, a process that can take months.
Security was been beefed up in and around the National Assembly complex ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to present the 2020 budget proposal. It will be recalled that the Senate had on Thursday, approved the 2020 to 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper(FSP). The approval, followed the adoption of a 16-point recommendation by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning which considered the MTEF and FSP documents. Part of the recommendations approved by senate was to increase the Federal Government’s total expenditure estimates in the MTEF/FSP from N10 trillion to N10.729 trillion.