NASS Passes Record N7.44trn Budget To Escape Recession

NASS Passes Record N7.44trn Budget To Escape Recession

Nigeria’s National Assembly signed off on a record 7.44 trillion naira ($24.4 billion) budget for 2017 on Thursday, aiming to drag Africa’s biggest economy out of its first downturn in a quarter of a century, Reuters reports.

The oil producer is in its second year of recession, brought on by low global crude prices that have slashed government revenues, weakened the naira currency and caused chronic dollar shortages. It has also been wrestling with an Islamist insurgency in the north and militant attacks in the Delta crude-producing region.

The budget is based on an assumed oil price this year of $44.5 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude is currently trading above $50. The plan also entails foreign borrowing of 175.9 billion naira and domestic borrowing of 1.488 trillion naira.

Both chambers of parliament agreed to a bigger budget than the 7.298 trillion naira draft submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari in December. The budget must now be signed by the president to become law. Buhari is on leave in Britain and on Sunday handed over power to his deputy Yemi Osinbajo, who will sign the budget in Buhari’s absence.

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