Nigeria Says Budget Stimulus to Revive Economy in Third Quarter

  • Government to start release of incentives in next few weeks
  • GDP shrunk in March-quarter for first time since 2004

The impact of record incentives to boost Nigeria’s economy will become visible in the third quarter as authorities fast-track plans to release funding in a country that’s on the brink of a recession, according to Budget and Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma.

“Substantial releases” of a 350 billion naira ($1.8 billion) stimulus provided for in the budget will be made available in the next few weeks, Udoma told reporters Wednesday in Abuja, the capital.

“By the third quarter we will start to see the impact of what we are doing to reflate the economy,” he said.

The budget incentives will help to boost Africa’s largest economy which is struggling to cope with a slump in crude oil prices, the source of two-thirds of government revenue. Nigeria’s gross domestic product contracted for the first time since 2004 in the three months through March and central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele warned in May that a recession was imminent after a four-month delay in passing the nation’s budget.

President Muhammadu Buhari last month approved a record 6.1 trillion naira budget with a deficit of 2.2 trillion naira, or 2.1 percent of gross domestic product. The World Bank this week reviewed Nigeria’s growth estimate to 0.8 percent, down from 4.6 percent in January, citing weakness from oil output disruptions and low prices.