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The Nigerian leader unveils a $34 billion spending plan that prioritizes the economy and security

Nigeria’s leader has presented federal lawmakers with a $34.8 billion spending plan for 2024 focused on stabilizing Africa’s largest but struggling economy and tackling a deadly security crisis

From

CHINEDU ASADU Associated Press

November 29, 2023, 11:22 am ET

2 minutes read

ABUJA, Nigeria (`) — Nigeria’s leader presented federal lawmakers on Wednesday with a 27.5 trillion naira ($34.8 billion) spending plan for 2024 focused on stabilizing Africa’s largest but struggling economy and dealing with it focused on the country’s deadly security crisis.

The main aim of the proposed budget is to maintain the “robust foundation for sustainable economic development” put in place by the new government, President Bola Tinubu said in the capital Abuja. Lawmakers plan to deliberate on the plan before voting.

Tinubu predicted the economy would grow by at least 3.76% next year and listed infrastructure and social programs among the government’s priorities to ease hardship in the country of more than 210 million people.

During his six months in office, Tinubu introduced economic reforms that the government said would boost the economy and attract more foreign investment. Those reforms – including the elimination of costly gas subsidies – have instead worsened hardship for many in the West African country, where soaring inflation of 27.3% is already putting families under pressure.

At least 8.25 trillion naira ($10.4 billion) was earmarked in the proposed budget to pay off Nigeria’s heavy debts. Almost the same amount is earmarked for capital expenditure, once again highlighting the problem the country has faced for years as loan repayments continue to restrict financing of key projects.

“Expected debt service is 45% of expected total revenues” next year, the president said.

He added that the government will focus on greater transparency and accountability and work more closely with development partners and the private sector to improve its effectiveness.

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