The 2009 Appropriation bill was signed into law yesterday by President Umaru Yar’Adua who expressed fears about on Government’s ability to finance the 3.1 trillion naira ($21.2 billion) budget for 2009.
Nigeria’s law makers jacked up Yar’Adua’s initial proposal of 2.87 trillion to 3.1 trillion, about 8 percent higher.
“I assent to the 2009 budget today with a clear appreciation of the seriousness of the challenges we face as a nation. Our revenue base is dwindling with the drastic fall in the price of crude oil,” Yar’Adua said at a budget signing ceremony.
The government estimated the budget deficit will reach 3.02 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), but some analysts believed it was likely to be higher at around 4.4 percent. The 2008 budget deficit was 2.1 percent.
“Financing such a large fiscal deficit will have with it its own challenges,” Yar’Adua said.