What Nigeria's incoming President will inherit - It's not looking good

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The director general of the Debt Management Office in Nigeria, Patience Oniha, has announced that the incoming administration will inherit around NGN77tn ($202.4bn) in debt when President Muhammadu Buhari's tenure ends in May.

Oniha made the statement while addressing journalists at the public presentation of Wednesday's highlights of the 2023 Appropriation Act in Abuja.

Nigeria's Presidential candidates: Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Peter Obi, Asiwaju Tinubu
Nigeria's Presidential candidates: Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Peter Obi, Asiwaju Tinubu

The 2023 budget, which was signed into law by Buhari on Tuesday, is worth NGN21.83tn and has a deficit of NGN11.34tn, equivalent to 5.03% of the country's gross domestic product.

Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, said the deficit would be funded by borrowing, with 22% of projected revenues coming from oil-related sources and 78% from non-oil sources.

Perhaps, the issue of subsidy removal is the most significant factor for any candidate that emerges as President after the February 25th presidential election. If not well managed, it could lead to chaos. A message of congratulations to the winner and the initial honeymoon by admirers could turn to protests of crucifixion in months.

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