Nigeria: President unveils 2024 budget proposal heavily criticised by opposition

Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu presented the first budget since coming to power on November 29, 2023. A budget focused on security and economic growth in a context of high inflation. This proposal has been heavily criticised by the opposition. Details.

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[Illustrative Image] Nigerian President Bola Tinubu attends his inauguration ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria, May 29, 2023. REUTERS - TEMILADE ADELAJA

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On November 29, 2023, the President of Nigeria presented his budget proposal for the year 2024 to the Senate and the National Assembly. The budget, estimated at nearly €32 billion, is expected to be adopted without a hitch in the coming weeks, but it has been heavily criticised by the opposition.

In front of senators and deputies, Bola Tinubu used his campaign slogan to present a budget of "renewed hope". This notion is "invented, unfounded and misleading", according to the opposition, which denounces a budget "devoid of concrete measures" to encourage job creation or revive manufacturing or agricultural production in Nigeria.

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) believes that the 2024 budget is "filled with inflated figures (...) and false statistics" and that it is "designed to further suffocate Nigerians".

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The benchmark exchange rate of 750 naira – the Nigerian currency – to the US dollar is, for example, far removed from the reality of the market, as the Nigerian currency is currently trading at 1,1 naira to 100 dollar on the parallel foreign exchange market.

Economist Cheta Nwanze, of SBM Intelligence, also denounced Nigeria's oil production projections for the coming year. In its presentation, Bola Tinubu based its production on 1.78 million barrels per day, with a reference price set at just under $78 per barrel, just in line with current market prices. As a result, its fiscal room for manoeuvre will be very limited.

On the eve of the presentation of his budget, the Nigerian head of state asked the Senate to authorize a new loan.

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