Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday gave his final agreement on the country’s 2021 budget on New Year’s Eve.
It sets a record of 13.5 billion Naira, or over 28 billion euros, which is about 20% higher than last year and comes as Africa’s most populous country faces a recession in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nigeria’s economy is further squeezed as it is also the largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa and the coronavirus pandemic has slashed oil prices.
Growth is another key issue for Nigeria. The International Monetary Fund said it forecasts a decline in Nigeria’s GDP of 5.4% for 2020, while the government is considering a contraction of 8.9%.
To cope, the state devalued the currency but that created high inflation. In October, food prices rose more than 17%.
According to the World Bank, the coronavirus crisis is expected to push five million more Nigerians into poverty.