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Nigeria’s Third Quarter Budget Deficit More Than Doubles

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s budget deficit more than doubled in the third quarter to 459.1 billion naira ($2.9 billion), the Central Bank of Nigeria said.

The budget deficit of sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest economy jumped from 211.8 billion naira in the previous three months and 161.1 billion naira in the third quarter of 2011, the Abuja-based bank said in a Dec. 7 report on its website.

“The deficit was financed mainly from domestic sources, particularly through the issuance of additional Federal Government of Nigeria bonds,” the bank said.

The country increased its target for this year’s budget deficit to 2.97 percent of economic output in February, from a 2.77 percent target announced in December 2011, after it added 733 billion naira of spending on gasoline subsidies, according to the Finance Ministry. The country wants to narrow the fiscal deficit to 2.2 percent of GDP next year, according to the Oct. 10 budget proposal by President Goodluck Jonathan.

During the period, 26.2 billion naira were withdrawn from the excess crude account “to bridge the shortfall in revenue for the period,” leaving $9.3 billion in the account, in which Nigeria saves revenue from crude sales higher than the budgeted price, the bank said. The government aims to raise savings in the account to $10 billion to provide a buffer against global economic uncertainty.

Net foreign-currency inflows through the bank in the quarter stood at $5.8 billion, with inflows at $14.4 billion and outflows at $9.2 billion, according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maram Mazen in Abuja at mmazen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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