Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, February 18, 2016

More details on NIgeria's budget woes

Stephanie Findlay and Joel Olatunde Agoi writing for AFP offer some details on problems with the budget.

Nigeria struggles as Buhari wrangles with budget, naira
[T]roubling errors in the budget of Africa's largest economy and the continuing free fall of the naira on the black market have both Nigerians and investors worried that Buhari still isn't moving fast enough to address a deepening economic crisis.

In response, Buhari announced a record 6 trillion-naira ($30-billion, 27 billion-euro) budget promising to triple investment to stimulate growth.

Yet his budget proposal was pockmarked with mistakes, repetitions and, given the circumstances, extravagant demands.

The errors include the same purchases for vehicles, computers and furniture that are duplicated 24 times, totalling 46.5 billion naira.

This opens the door for graft, according to Oluseun Onigbinde, co-founder of BudgIT, a Nigerian transparency group…

Buhari on Monday sacked the director-general of the budget office and appointed former banker Tijjani Abdullahi to take the helm.

Now there are serious revisions to be made before Buhari can sign off on the budget and inject Nigeria's sputtering economy with much-needed cash. It's a process likely to take months…

The budget confusion is yet another deterrent for investors already reluctant to invest in the country as a result of Buhari's monetary policies, which have caused a severe dollar shortage and the naira to hit unprecedented lows of 340 against the dollar on the black market…

Instead of protecting the poor, the policy vacuum is stoking inflation on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, where people bemoan the price of previously affordable staples…

A 50 kilogram (110 pound) bag of rice that used to cost 9,000 naira now costs 13,000, while a bag of beans has gone up from 12,000 naira to 15,000…

"Prices are rising, despite attempts to keep the official Nigerian naira exchange rate unchanged," said Standard Chartered Bank economist Razia Khan…

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