Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari attends a press briefing after meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria, South Africa Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Buhari is visiting South Africa after a wave of attacks on foreigners angered many African countries and led to an extraordinary airlift to take hundreds of Nigerians home. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

INTERNATIONAL - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari presented a record 10.33 trillion-naira ($33.8 billion) budget for 2020 to lawmakers on Tuesday, the first spending plan since his re-election in February.

The plan for Africa’s top oil exporter assumes crude production of 2.18 million barrels a day and an oil price of $57 per barrel.

Nigeria emerged from its first recession in 25 years in 2017. Growth remains sluggish, although higher oil prices and recent debt sales have helped the country to accrue billions of dollars in foreign reserves.

Buhari told lawmakers at a joint session of the upper and lower chambers of parliament that the “economic environment remains challenging” but he said the budget was expected to increase the pace of growth.

The spending plan, which includes a value-added tax increase from 5 percent to 7.5 percent, is up from the 8.83 trillion-naira budget for 2019 and tops the previous record budget spending plan set by the 9.12 trillion-naira budget for 2018.

Buhari’s government has repeatedly rolled out record spending plans but struggled to fund them because of lower oil production and an inability to boost non-oil exports.

The budget must still be approved by parliament before being signed into law by Buhari, a process that can take months.

The country is also getting ready for the annual Nigeria Mining Week, taking place next week.

The fourth annual Nigeria Mining Week conference and exhibition is taking place from October 14-16 in the Nigerian capital Lagos at the NAF Centre.

Minister Adegbite said that during discussions this week with the organisers of the event, the miners association of Nigeria, the MAN President Alhaji Kabir Mohammed Kankara had asked the ministry to become more involved with Nigeria Mining Week. 

Reuters