Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has attributed the serious challenges facing the country’s economy to the coronavirus pandemic.
Buhari stated this when he presented the country’s 2021 budget before a joint session of the National Assembly and said he has worked hard to ensure the early submission of the 2021 to 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the 2021 budget and hoped that the budget will be given a speedy consideration.
He said though the economy faces severe challenges, Nigeria’s economy performed better than that of many other countries.
He said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was projected to be negative in the third quarter of the year and said “we hope to make recovery in 2021.”
Buhari said the government is making efforts to make life easier for Nigerians.
He said the 2020 budget was prepared to have a deficit of N4.8 trillion to be financed mainly by borrowing with every MDA receiving at least 50 percent of its budget in line with his earlier directive.
Buhari observed that Revenue generation remains Nigeria’s major challenge but said his administration is determined to meet up with growing expenditure commitment through borrowing. He also expressed the government’s determination to deliver on key policies and programmes.
“We are also accelerating the construction of 337 rural roads across communities to enhance local markets. We are also accelerating the construction of 337 rural roads that are key to agriculture.
“The Itakpe-Ajaokuta rail line has been completed after 30 years of neglect, the Lagos-Ibadan rail will soon commence full operation while the Abuja-Kaduna rail is working well,” Buhari said.
According to the Nigerian leader, the second Niger bridge is about 46 percent complete, and “we hope to complete it before the end of my tenure in 2023, Buhari said.
By Abel Ejikeme