Nigeria's financial woes are not showing any signs of going away. And now President Muhammadu Buhari needs more money.
Buhari asked parliament Tuesday to approve plans to borrow $30 billion to fund infrastructure plans through 2018. The money is needed to address a recession that has gripped the country for much of the year as a result of the freefall in the in the price of crude oil globally — nearly two-thirds of the Nigeria's government revenue is from the sale of oil. However, Buhari's borrowing request comes amid growing concerns about the competency of his administration.
As per Buhari's plan, the $30 billion dollars will come from overseas lenders, such as the World Bank, and will include the sale of $4.5 billion worth of Eurobonds and a planned budget support of $3.5 billion, according to Reuters. Buhari has already sent a draft budget for 2017 to parliament for approval, which includes the details for a record $22.55 billion stimulus aimed at pulling Nigeria out of its recession.
"The projects cut across all sectors with special emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, growth and employment generation, poverty reduction," said Buhari's letter to both chambers of Nigeria's assembly. "It has become necessary to resort to prudent external borrowing to bridge the financing gap."
Buhari, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has had to contend with Nigeria's declining economy amid widespread criticisms of his tenure. He campaigned in 2015 on a pledge to destroy the Islamic terror group Boko Haram, whose attacks on energy facilities in the country have exacerbated the country's problems with oil revenue, and crack down on corruption. Yet critics say Buhari has not lived up to his promise. Even his wife, First Lady Aisha Buhari, had some harsh words.
"I have decided, as his wife, that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again," she said in an interview with BBC earlier this month.
Buhari's response: "I don't know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room."