Nigeria to pass revised 2016 budget on 17 March – lawmakers

by Reuters 0

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Nigeria’s parliament expects to pass the 2016 budget in Africa’s biggest economy on March 17, lawmakers said on Wednesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari presented a record $30 billion budget in December but asked for its withdrawal in January to make changes after a further drop in oil prices forced the deficit up to 3 trillion naira ($15 billion) from 2.2 trillion.

Last month voting on the budget was postponed because ministers could not agree on revised public spending plans.

Representatives of the Senate, the upper house, and their counterparts in the lower house, the House of Representatives, said they had held talks with ministries on the issue of how much money would be allocated to each department.

“We should be able to lay our report of the 2016 Appropriation Bill before the House and the Senate on 16th of March,” Abdulmumin Jibrin, who chairs the budget committee in the lower house.

He said parliament was expected to finish considering the budget’s contents by the end of the following day. “So it is safe for us to conclude that the 2016 Appropriation Bill will be passed on the 17th of March,” he added.

Nigeria has held talks with the World Bank and has looked at borrowing from the African Development Bank and China Exim Bank to plug the budget gap as oil trades around $30 a barrel, down from over $100 in 2014.