Nigeria Wants Oil’s Share of Revenue Down to 60% Soon

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, wants to reduce the commodity’s contribution to government revenue to 60 percent in the medium term, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

Oil currently accounts for 70 percent of government revenue in the West African nation, down from 80 percent in recent years, Okonjo-Iweala said today at a conference in Abuja, the capital. Taxes and non-oil exports provide 30 percent, according to the minister.

“We’ll continue to drive that down to 60-40 percent over the medium term,” she said.

Africa’s most populous country of more than 160 million people is seeking to reduce oil dependence and its vulnerability to oil-price shocks by diversifying its revenue sources. The country’s excess crude account, which holds the difference between the oil price used for the budget and higher prices realized from the market, has risen to about $9 billion, according to Okonjo-Iweala.

The government expects to reduce recurrent spending in 2013 to 68.8 percent from 77 percent in 2010, she said.

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