Nigeria’s budget offers renewed hope – president – BBC News

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  • By Danai Nesta Kupemba
  • BBC News

Image source, Shutterstock

Image caption, Bola Tinubu has been serving as Nigeria’s president since May

Nigeria’s president has delivered his first budget since taking office, as the country faces a deepening cost of living crisis.

He announced government plans to spend 27.5 trillion naira ($34.85bn; £27bn) in the new financial year.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu said the plans would attract investment, offering “renewed hope” during tough economic times.

Mr Tinubu had called for patience after inflation skyrocketed following an ambitious set of reform policies.

After winning disputed elections with 37% of the vote back in May, he shocked many Nigerians in his inaugural address when, in an off-the-cuff remark, he scrapped a decades-old fuel subsidy.

The move led to a sharp rise in the price of fuel and other goods, worsening the cost of living crisis for many.

Mr Tinubu also scrapped foreign exchange controls, which also contributed to pushing up inflation to its highest levels in nearly two decades, at 25%.

The value of the naira fell, increasing the cost of imports and making it more difficult to pay off international loans.

But Mr Tinubu stood by his decision, saying the fuel subsidy had proven to be “harmful” to the economy.

He insisted the budget’s impact on the cost of living crisis would be temporary and has repeated calls for patience, saying the moves would benefit the country in the long term and attract more foreign investment.

Mr Tinubu said his “Budget of Renewed Hope” would guarantee macro-economic stability, lead to “job-rich” growth and reduce the budget deficit.

The government’s spending priorities included improving security and infrastructure, as well as taking measures to ease the cost of living crisis, he added.

Mr Tinubu projected higher oil production and tax collection would boost government revenues and allow his administration to borrow less.

He added that the economy was expected to grow by at least 3.76% in 2024, and inflation would be at around 21.4%.

It stood at 27.3% in October, up from 26.72% in September, according to official statistics.

The budget will have to be approved by lawmakers before it comes into effect.

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