Nigeria’s federal government plans to spend N26 trillion in 2024 as President Bola Tinubu attempts to revive an economy that has been starved of robust growth.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Monday gave its approval for the 2024 budget which is almost a fifth bigger in naira terms than the 2023 budget but is smaller in dollar terms.
Below are the key assumptions of the budget.
The budget is expected to deliver a 3.76 percent growth in 2024, according to Atiku Bagudu, the minister of budget and national planning who spoke during a briefing in Abuja. That’s higher than the IMF’s 2.9 percent forecast.
The budget assumes an average exchange rate of N700 to the dollar, slightly stronger than the current official rate but very conservative compared to the N1,048 naira it traded at on the parallel market on Monday.
Bagudu said the government is optimistic that its engagement with investors will result in greater foreign exchange inflows and a stronger naira.
The inflows “will help us to clear the backlog and the exchange rate will begin to reflect a stronger value than the current weakness,” he said.
The Federal government plans to spend N8.25 trillion on debt service in 2024.
The most recent figures show that debt service cost the government a N5.65 trillion in 2022, representing a staggering 97.4 percent of budgeted revenue. This compares to N4.2 trillion incurred in 2021 or 62.8% of budgeted revenue.
Personnel and pension costs, which is now the second single largest cost item after debt service and represents cash used to pay salaries and pensions of civil servants, is expected to gulp N7.78 trillion in 2024. Total expenditure also includes statutory transfers of N1.3 trillion.
Nigeria aims to achieve an oil production target of 1.78 million barrels per day in the 2024 budget. That marks a 31 percent increase from the current production levels.
Nigeria pumped some 1.346 million barrels of crude oil in September, the highest in 20 months, according to latest data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission. The figure excludes condensates.
Curbing rampant oil theft that has sent oil production tumbling is considered key for Nigeria as dollar supply wanes.
Meanwhile an oil price of $73.96 per barrel is being projected.
The government is forecasting an inflation rate of 21 percent in 2024.
Inflation, currently at 26.72 percent, has been above double-digits since 2016, eroding incomes and savings, and prompting the central bank to raise the benchmark interest rate aggressively.