Nigerian President to Meet Lawmakers to Negotiate Delayed Budget

LAGOS, Nigeria, Capital Markets in Africa — Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will meet leaders of Parliament on Friday to negotiate a delayed 2016 budget after he said lawmakers had made changes to the original spending plan he presented in December.

The president will meet to resolve “areas where he wanted adjustments in the 2016 budget,” Abdulrazak Namdas, spokesman for the House of Representatives, said by phone from the capital, Abuja. “It is going to be a negotiation.”

Buhari has yet to pass the budget after it was stalled by politicians alleging in January that the document contained mistakes and discrepancies, before Parliament passed a version last month. Buhari said lawmakers removed and replaced what he put in the original spending plan and that he would review the budget before signing it into law, delaying disbursements to ministries and government agencies.

Buhari presented a record 6.1 trillion naira ($30.6 billion) spending plan on Dec. 22, saying expenditure needed to increase about 20 percent from 2015 to stimulate the economy of Africa’s biggest oil producer, which has been hammered by the slump in crude prices. Growth fell to 2.8 percent last year, the slowest pace since 1999.

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