Above: President Buhari signing the 2016 budget into law
Nigerians President Muhammadu Buhari today told Nigerians, I feel your pains.
In his remarks at the signing of the 2016 appropriation bill into law on friday, may 6, 2016, in Abuja, President muhammadu buhari stated that living in State House does not in any way alienate him from the daily struggles being experienced by ordinary citizens.
“I read the newspapers and listen to the TV and radio news. I hear your cries. I share your pains”, Buhari stated.
“We are experiencing probably the toughest economic times in the history of our Nation. I want to commend the sacrifice, resilience and toughness of all Nigerians young and old who have despite the hardships continued to have hope and confidence of a great future for Nigerians. But permit me to say that this government is also like none other. We are absolutely committed to changing the structure of the Nigerian economy once and for all.”
Buhari signed the delayed 2016 budget into law on Friday, ending weeks of wrangling with lawmakers and tripling capital expenditure as Africa’s biggest economy contends with its worst crisis in years.
The 6.06 trillion naira ($30.6 billion) budget is an attempt by Africa’s top oil exporter to stimulate an economy hammered by the fall in crude oil prices. Oil sales make up about 70 percent of national income.
The budget assumes oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day at 38 dollars a barrel, Budget Minister Udoma Udo Udoma told reporters shortly after the signing.
Growth last year fell to its slowest rate since 1999 at 2.8 percent and inflation rose to a near four-year high of 12.8 percent in March while capital imports declined by 74 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016.
In hi speech given after the signing, Buhari said the current period was “probably the toughest economic times in the history of our nation”.
“We are working night and day to diversify the economy so that we never again have to rely on one commodity to survive as a country. So that we can produce the food we eat, make our own textiles, produce most of the things we use. We intend to create the environment for our young peoples to be able to innovate and create jobs through technology.
“I cannot promise you that this will be an easy journey, but in the interest of so much and so many we must tread this difficult path. I can assure you that this government you have freely elected will work with honesty and dedication, day and night to ensure that our country prospers and that the prosperity benefits all Nigerians. God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria.”