Nigerian minister presents $29 billion budget

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 19, 2013 at 11:54 am •  Published: December 19, 2013
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ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's finance minister presented lawmakers Thursday with a proposed budget of 4.642 trillion naira ($29 billion) for 2014, saying it was lower than last year because of rampant oil theft and lower customs duties.

Minister Ngozi Ikonjo-Iweala said the proposal includes capital expenditure of just 1.1 trillion naira ($6.88 billion), 27 percent of the total, with the rest going to running the government.

She set expected government revenue for 2014 at 3.73 trillion naira ($23.3 billion), a deficit of 1.9 percent of GDP.

The budget for Africa's biggest oil producer is based on oil selling at $77.5 a barrel, a compromise between the executive's proposal of $74 and lawmaker's demands for a $79 a barrel benchmark. The dispute had delayed the budget for weeks.

"It's a budget for jobs and inclusive growth," Ikonjo-Iweala, a former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, told reporters. "The budget supports policies that will continue to push agriculture, manufacturing, investment so that our youths can have modern jobs."

Last year's budget was $29.3 billion.

Despite economic growth averaging 7 percent over the past decade, the government's own statistics show the number of Nigerians living from hand to mouth has increased since 2004.

Thursday's presentation comes the day after the ruling People's Democratic Party lost its majority in the House of Representatives when 37 legislators defected. President Goodluck Jonathan's party still retains a majority in the senate.



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