ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari submitted a 228.9 billion naira ($750 million) supplementary budget for 2018 to parliament on Tuesday after a six-month delay in getting the main budget approved.
In a letter accompanying the draft supplementary budget, Buhari said implementing the main 9.12 trillion naira ($29.92 billion) budget for the year “will be extremely challenging,” without elaborating.
Buhari’s administration has struggled to pass its annual budgets, some delayed by as much as half a year, as lawmakers and the presidency have waged politically charged battles over items like infrastructure projects.
Parliamentary deputies often vie to cut federal projects - much to the ire of the presidency - and add others in their own constituencies, seeking to win votes in the run-up to elections.
The new supplementary budget includes 164 billion naira to prepare for the 2019 elections and 64.7 billion to reinstate projects cut by lawmakers from the main 2018 budget, signed into law last month after over a half a year of wrangling.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest energy producer and most populous country, next goes to the polling booths in February 2019 when Buhari will seek a second term against a divided opposition.
Reporting by Camillus Eboh with additional reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram in Lagos; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Mark Heinrich