Nigeria: Ministers approve 2018 draft budget

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Nigeria’s cabinet on Thursday approved a draft 2018 budget that will now be sent to lawmakers, the minister of budget and national planning said.

The draft figures must be approved by the upper chamber of parliament before the final budget can be submitted and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It is the prerogative of the president to give the details of the budget to the National Assembly, not me, so be patient until he presents the budget,” Udoma Udo Udoma told reporters in the capital Abuja after a cabinet meeting.

The budget ministry last week published a document that said the budget would be a record 8.6 trillion naira ($27.3 billion) in 2018, up 15.5 percent from this year.

The government has increased spending on infrastructure in recent years in an attempt to diversify the OPEC member’s oil-dependent economy. Crude oil sales supply around two-thirds of government revenue.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and top oil producer, emerged from its first recession in 25 years in the second quarter. However, the pace of growth was slow at 0.55 percent year-on-year.