Nigeria’s Budget Proposals Ready by December, Minister Says

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Nigeria’s government may be ready to present its spending proposals for 2012 to parliament by the start of December, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

The Finance Ministry is working to “have something ready around the end of the month or the beginning of December,” Okonjo-Iweala told reporters today in Abuja, the capital. The government plans a 2012 budget of 4.8 trillion naira ($30 billion), according to the Budget Office.

Okonjo-Iweala said on Nov. 11 the proposals would be sent to parliament this month. The government of sub-Saharan Africa’s
second-largest economy must conduct “a lot of consultations” with the National Assembly and will not “rush” the proposals if parliamentary committees aren’t satisfied with them, she said.

Parliament approved this year’s budget in May. President Goodluck Jonathan’s government plans to raise spending by 7 percent and scrap the fuel subsidies over the next three years that will save the government 1.2 trillion naira next year, according to the Budget Office.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer and most populous country, has readjusted its crude oil price for next year’s budget to $70 per barrel instead of the originally planned $75, the minister said on Nov. 11.

Crude for January delivery gained 57 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $97.49 a barrel at 12:04 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for January settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange increased $1.58, or 1.5 percent, to $108.46.

The government will work to lower cargo-clearance time at Nigerian ports to 48 hours from the three to four weeks it takes now, through a Ports Monitoring Committee that was established today, the minister told reporters.


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