UPDATE 2-Nigeria leader presents 8.83 trln naira 2019 budget to raucous lawmakers
The main opposition candidate, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, has criticised policies implemented by Buhari since taking office in 2015 and vowed to double the size of the economy to $900 billion by 2025 if elected.
Coming months after dozens of lawmakers defected to the opposition, Buhari received a rowdy reception with many of his statements greeted by jeers and chants of "lies", while supporters at times stood to applaud.
"We are supposed to be above this," said Buhari at one point, in response to boos.
Buhari said 2.28 trillion naira had been allocated to capital spending and 2.14 trillion naira for debt service, of which 80 percent was domestic debt that he said accounted for about 70 percent of the total debt.
"Although our national debt is within sustainable limits, we need to increase our domestic resource mobilisation to bring down our debt-revenue ratio over the medium term," he said.
LOWER THAN 2018 BUDGET
The 2019 budget must still be approved by parliament, a process that can take months.
Previous budgets have been delayed by wrangling and next year there will be the added complication of the presidential election followed by gubernatorial elections weeks later.
"The proposal is unlikely to be approved before February’s election, meaning that both the assembly and Mr. Buhari himself might be replaced mid-way through the process," said John Ashbourne, Africa economist at Capital Economics.
"Even once the budget is finalised, it may not prove an accurate guide to actual spending," he said, adding: "More broadly, today’s speech underlined the fact that another term for Mr. Buhari would mean policy stability."
($1 = 306.6000 naira) (Additional reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram in Lagos; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Andrew Cawthorne)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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