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Nigeria: Buhari boosts budget but anger soars

Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 01:41

Nigeria's President Buhari has presented a record budget for 2017 to lawmakers in bid to pull Africa's biggest economy out of recession. As David Pollard reports, ordinary Nigerians are venting their frustration at what they see as a series of failed promises from the government.

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The Christmas hampers are plentiful but festive spirit is in short supply. The oil slump has brought Nigeria to its worst economic situation ever, according to its president. Prices for basics here have doubled in a year - inflation is over 18 per cent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BAKER, DOLAPO BECKLEY, SAYING: "We wanted a better economy and things are turning upside down, even worse than the way it was before." Some consider leaving. Ayo thinks life could be better in the US or UK. "There is no hope anymore, we don't believe anymore," she says. Nineteen months into his presidency, Muhammadu Buhari's promise to revive the economy is in tatters. His hope now: a major boost to public expenditure. This week's 2017 budget laying out plans for new infrastructure - at a cost of an extra 20 per cent spending. With government revenues based on an oil price at 42 dollars a barrel or above, it could be achievable - and more. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "Were we to see sustained oil prices of around $55 dollars, which a number of forecasters are expecting for 2017, then clearly Nigeria's returns would be much stronger and their budget much more robust." Other assumptions beg other questions. Oil output: earmarked at 2.2 million barrels a day, it could be unrealistic - meaning less revenue. And the political challenge potentially a burden - last year's budget taking months of wrangling to get it through.

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Nigeria: Buhari boosts budget but anger soars

Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 01:41