Nigeria open for business, says Buhari, as he presents 2016 budget

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told anxious Nigerians, local and international investors and businessmen that despite the negative impact of global economic uncertainties and pressure on the country’s economy in recent times, Nigeria was still open for business.

The president was addressing the joint session of the National Assembly after laying before the lawmakers the 2016 fiscal proposals estimated at an unprecedented N6.08 trillion.

In the budget, Mr. Buhari indicated that capital expenditure would take N1.8 trillion, over 300 per cent increment from the 2015 vote of N557 billion, while education would take the largest chunk of the sectoral allocations with N396 billion, followed by the health sector with N296 billion. Defence was allocated N294 billion.

This is the first in three budget cycles a Nigerian president would personally present before the National Assembly.

Throughout the presentation, lawmakers intermittently punctuated the president’s presentation with loud applause, with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, jokingly telling him later in his vote of thanks that based on the experience of the law makers in the past, he had expected budget details to be tweeted or emailed to them.

The last two budgets were presented by a former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on behalf of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In his speech, President Buhari acknowledged the challenges faced by Nigerians in all sectors of the economy and assured that government has so far demonstrated a strong will to fight to rebuild a stronger and more virile nation and economy.

“In spite of the global economic uncertainties, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to steer the country back to greatness,” the president said. “The economy needs to move away from dependency on oil. Our growth must be inclusive. Nigerians must be part of the growth story.

“As a government, we shall provide the security, jobs and infrastructure, which are the right of all Nigerians. But, I promised the 2016 budget would address these problems. Nigeria is open for business, but the interest of all Nigerians must be protected. Tough decisions would have to be made. But this does not necessary mean increasing the level of pain already experienced by most Nigerians.”

He said his government and his team was committed to serve Nigeria and indeed Nigerians for them to get the services they have longed for, pointing out that the focus of the budget would ensure reduction in taxes for small businesses to thrive and promote inclusive economic growth.

While reiterating his commitment to economic diversification, he said farming and mining would be given special attention.
He blamed the problems and challenges Nigerians were facing at the moment on monumental corruption, which he said informed the thrust of his administration’s policies.

Some of the policies include the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the collection of government revenue, and strict enforcement of the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 by ministries, departments and agencies of government.

“What we found on assumption of office prompted government to take decisions being implemented in the budget,” he said.

“The sheer size of corruption and impunity has been behind the current problems and challenges the country is facing today. We have demonstrated a strong will to fight corruption. We will pursue and recover everything that belongs to the Nigerian people; no matter where it is hidden, or how long it will take.”

He said the decision to appropriate 30 per cent of the total budget outlay for capital expenditure, was part of the fulfilment of his government’s promise to align its expenditure to long term objectives and commitment to sustainable development.

The president acknowledged the difficulties users of foreign exchange were facing due to the inadequate supply, saying the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor has given the assurance that the Bank was currently fine-tuning the FX management to introduce some flexibility and encourage additional inflow to help ease the pressures.

To investors, business owners and industrialists, farmers, traders, the President said government was aware of their pains, restating however that “the status quo cannot continue. The rent seeking must stop.

“We must go back to basics. Our actions will speak for us. We are taking the challenge. We will not betray the trust reposed in us. We are here to serve, and Nigerians will indeed get the value that they rightly deserve.”

He called for the support of all Nigerians, particularly civil servants, organised labour, and industrial groups, as government would not be able to do it alone.


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  • Alkali

    Here are examples of red flags to foreign business……..

    • ₦38.23billion developed legs and got missing in Central Bank under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,
    • ₦1.97billion was paid out in cash and entered on Central Bank accounts as “inexplicable
    expense” by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,
    • ₦20billion was paid out in cash as Legal Fees by Sanusi Lamido to persons un-known,
    • ₦3.086billion was paid out in cash by Sanusi Lamido as expense ostensibly to promote
    Central Bank image,
    • ₦160billion was paid out by Sanusi Lamido at Central Bank for self-determined activities,
    • ₦240billion was discretionally doled out at will as ‘donations’ by Sanusi Lamido,
    • ₦1.12billion was taken in cash and entered in the account as paid to a non-operating airline
    for charter service,
    • ₦1.12billion was claimed as spent by Sanusi Lamido on lunch for 12 CBN police
    guards in one year.

    • D. Glavda

      @Alkali,

      On those facts of recklessness in a country’s Central Bank, any foreign investor will think twice.
      What happened under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was so so lawless, so criminal, it will hunt Nigeria.
      Who will now import 300 million dollars into a country whose Central Bank did all these crimes?
      Until these financial crimes are seen globally to be punished, just don’t expect foreign investors!

    • New Nigerian

      LOL…mis-information galore

  • burning Spear

    How can Nigeria open for business when Buhari has no regard for the rule of Law? Over 70 percent of the budget is going to come from borrow- borrow from the world bank again abi? Sadly Nigerians with the aid of the USA, did reward this dangerous, insensitive, dishonest, mean, cruel, partial, egoistic, religious, fundamentalist, conscienceless human being like MOHAMMADU BUHARI with the presidency of Nigeria with his kind of track record on Human Right abuses. So why do we still wonder why Nigeria has not and will not make it to the promised land under Buhari?He is an oligarch who does not believe in equality before the law. The way he jailed Lateef Jakande, Jim Nwobodo, Ambrose Ali, Pa Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Ayo Ojewumi-now on Dasuki from whom he stole-over 800m on cases that had no foundation in law and allowed Awwal Ibrahim, the then Niger State governor, who was arrested in Heathrow Airport in London with 14 million pounds sterling and several millions of Naira and dollars to be freed’ He also allowed Shehu Kangiwa, Sokoto State Governor who conducted and supervised the famous Bakolori Massacre of poor peasant farmers, the same way the army killed Shiite Muslims whose land were appropriated without compensation to remain under house arrest-While governors from the south-South are being chased by Buhari from pillar to post-on behalf of the moaning mourners in APC

    • drajenifuja@yahoo.com

      Nigeria’s MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF PSYCHIATRISTS has a lot of work to do.
      The doctors there should arrest all heads of state and heads of the civil service.
      They should arrest all ex-Ministers, governors, senators and House of Reps too.
      The lawful arrest is just to enable Nigerians comply with Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution.
      That 1999 Constitution forbids that insane people be put in charge of public office.

      Compulsive thefts of genocidal dimension hurtingly fleece Nigeria’s political atmospherics.
      That will suggest that mad men and women have been in charge of Nigeria’s government.
      That also means constitutional violations and serial infractions of the Constitution’s strictures.
      The Association will list those who held office without being qualified as mad boys and girls.
      Once the medical fact is established, the solicitor general shall begin criminal prosecution.
      The puropse of trial is to obtain a remand order to detain these officials in a mental hospital.

  • Ceeceel

    This 2016
    budget is reckless as overleveraged. Nigeria is not in a position to either
    borrow or repay 10 billion dollars commercial loan. America is joining oil
    exporting countries and Iran is likely to resume exports. A glut is likely in
    the oil market for several years. Crude oil may sell at about 15-20 dollars in
    the year 2016. That will tear up Buhari’s optimistic budget of twice that
    price. At any rate no sensible European bank will advance 10 billion dollars
    loan on a false assumption of $32 per barrel of crude oil. So the budget Buhari
    presented looks dead on arrival. Budget is of course a projection, but where it
    so diverges from realistic expectation, it becomes a document of frauds. So it
    is with Nigeria. This budget does not erect a ladder of scape from the
    doldrums, but deepens the doldrums with debts and bloated expenditure for
    non-productive items such as free meals and dole. No investor will advance its
    capital for use as dole of 5,000 Naira each to 25 million poorish Nigerians.
    Those who lampooned Buhari’s cabinet as dull and unthinking appear to have got
    it right afterall.

  • Ollaolu Taiwo (London)

    Buhari makes me laugh. Does he expect he can
    retain a ₦65 difference between
    the official rate and street market rate all through the year 2016 when that rate
    is expected to widen to as much as 400 Naira to a dollar on demand push, and on
    the back of further exclusion of more items from the official funding for
    exports, in addition to rice plus 41 other items first excluded? I think
    there’s a certain ignorance percolating the interstices of the assorted
    creatures of unexceptional hue Buhari has dragged in as Ministers

    • Papa Oghworiodo

      MY CHILDREN,

      I am thinking something. Maybe Muhammadu Buhari did not do arithmetic in Elementary School. I suspect that. If Nigeria has only one billion dollars saved in the national account after 55 years of independence, how many years will it take Nigeria to repay this 10 billion dollars Buhari wants to borrow with compound interest? Even if we look at ir without adding compound interest to this thing, it will take Nigeria another 550 years to repay 10 billion dollar loan.

      • Oristetimi

        Pls dont make the old man go highagas. @19 he failed Mathematics with F9 and now @75 you are asking him to do compound interest? Did he pass Simple Interest in WAEC? Nigeria is a joke. Huge joke. The kind of leaders we engage are terrible. How can a Buhari be leading Nigeria where intelligent men & women abound. This is a misnormer.

  • Hardest Facts!!!

    To be frank I am disappointed at Nigeria. I did not know that Buhari is this unintelligent. Even when he reads from the prepared speech he still sounds horribly horrible. How did we get here? With F9 in basic maths @ O’level how can he even understand the figures in the budget? Nigeria should begin to learn to elect intelligent and sound persons into presidency and not the daft and dunce. We need a president who can inspire Nigerians by his/her appearance, style, intelligence, poise, vision and oratory …and NOT one who can bemuse us with his mental and memory challenges. Governance is mathematical.

  • Alfredo di stefano

    So sorry Nigerians, you’ve lost your way. Just checking Buhari’s prodigal plan here on my desk. You guys have 10.3 billion dollars hanging before un-paid. Now you want to double your debt, as your income drops by 65%, right? You need a shrink, without a doubt. How do you want to repay it? You don’t even have a single functioning export industry in that country. Look, get it, just brace yourselves for 30% of your assets value next year. That’s as sure as day follows night. Devaluation follows after bingeing on loans in the context of dwindling income. That’s immutable economics. Buhari doesn’t get it yet.
    Almost ½ of your 36 states can’t pay salaries as at today. And ¾ of the states can’t pay 60 dollars minimum wage.
    Where did Buhari then get the audacity to feel able to borrow 10 billion dollars? Wow, wow, wow! Shit happens!

    • New Nigerian

      Alfredo did Stefano – come back next year and revise your comment here, when real performance must have taken place based on projections.

  • Economist

    Mohammed Buhari is clueless and visionless. Nigeria is in serious trouble. Maybe this is the best time for break up…

    How can you present a budget with very high capital expenditure when the economy is in shambles and the source of revenue (oil) is precarious? In fact negatively so. Does Buhari intend to BORROW and then get people to steal the monies and leave Nigerians in debt forever? In 15 yrs time Buhari would have exited the departure lounge of life… I hope he does not intend to mortgage the lives of Nigerians knowing fully well he will not be around to feel the pain.

    This is why every citizen must be versed in elementary economics. You just dont come up with a budget with high capital expenditure given the state of the economy. This budget is mumuistic. olodoistic and can only lead to a calamitous end for the Nigerian economy.

    • New Nigerian

      You are indeed an expert on elementary economics and seem to be ignorant of fundamentals of economics. In macro economics terms – The government has set a good mood, and realities would follow – ask any real expert.

  • A.d. Stefano

    Look, get it, brace yourselves for 30% loss of your assets value next year. That’s as
    sure as day follows night. Devaluation follows after bingeing on loans in the context

    of dwindling income. That’s straight immutable economics. Buhari just doesn’t get it.

  • Omotolaaraujo

    We are sure that there will be more improvement in Nigeria than ever before. The situation can only get better.

    • Burning spear

      put on your thinking cap or go hire one if u do not have one like Buhari–and the moaning mourners in APC

  • Proud Yoruba

    I still wish infrastructure had more like 1 trillion, that is for Works and Power. These two sectors will unlock the full potential of the Nigerian economy because they fail to see that the Internet economy is huge. With access to 24/7 electricity, transport, and good troads, the youths can do exploits. The playing field has been levelled, farmers, artisans, small scale businesses will have access to global online markets where people, not governments support trade liberalization through free trade, so will entrepeneurs, industrialists, professionals, teachers, etc. micro finance is also available at the push of a button, free information for the uneducated to enhance their education online, etc., etc.

    They need to hire under-30 year old advisers for these ministers to bring in the youths valuable input and balance things out, since these old ministers only do things the old way.

    I want 24/7 electricity, autobahn quality interstate highways, high speed railway networks, 36 international airports in every state, additional sea ports and land ports, etc.

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    I have examined the 2016 Budget Proposal presented to the National Assembly, and my conclusion is that it may have been written in n January 2015, when the economic fundamentals were better.

    This budget does not address our current realities and appears somewhat fantasist in nature, almost as if it was written by a very good novelist, rather than an up-to-date economist.

    The projections for oil earnings in 2016 are not realistic, given the fact of several million barrels unsold at our terminals. Secondly, the unit price of oil is dropping by the minute, and was at $31/barrel as at yesterday, giving the lie to the $38/barrel benchmark set by the authors.

    If oil will not give us N800b as projected, it would make sense to look to other sectors to make up the inevitable shortfall. Customs alone provided over N900b in revenue in 2014,/missing their target of N1.2b by a wide margin.

    In this year, they were on target to beat last year’s figures in the earlier half, prior to the inauguration of President Buhari. One of his first acts was to appoint a new CG in the most controversial circumstances, and the immediate result was a sharp drop in revenues that has persisted to date. Projections are that the figures for 2015 may not be up to 30% of the 2014 figures.

    The Central Bank’s futile attempts to regulate the foreign exchange market has contributed heavily to the Customs revenue disaster, and unless the current stringent controls are loosened, that disaster will worsen in 2016.

  • evidence

    What sane investor will come and invest in Nigeria when there is no guarantee that he can take his money out whenever he wants to because of the restrictive policy on forex and trade? This is the same thing buhari did in 1983 ‎that turned our economy to trade by barter and sugar, rice, milk and cement became essential commodities. 

  • Analyst

    If Nigeria works or not I don’t give a damn. The worst countries in the world have people that are living large and living in luxury. I choose to be that in 170 million mix multitude of fulani and yariba.

  • bikky

    Sounding good!