ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari presented a record 10.33 trillion-naira ($33.8 billion) budget for 2020 to lawmakers on Tuesday, the first spending plan since his re-election in February.
The plan for Africa’s top oil exporter assumes crude production of 2.18 million barrels a day and an oil price 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% to 7.5%, is up from the 8.83 trillion-naira budget for 2019 and tops the previous record budget spending plan set by the 9.12 trillion-naira 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.
Reporting by Camillus Eboh in Abuja; writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by Larry King