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Nigeria Must Cut Reliance on Oil Income, Finance Minister Says

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria needs to diversify its income beyond oil exports by finding ways to generate more taxes from other industries, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

“We need to ramp up our efforts to tax the non-oil sectors of the economy to create more revenue for the government,” Okonjo-Iweala told reporters today in the capital, Abuja.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer and its largest economy, relies on oil sales for about 70 percent of its income, a figure that should fall to 60 percent and eventually to 33 percent, she said.

Producers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA, among others, operate in the country.

Nigeria, a country of about 170 million people, is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The government is targeting 7.2 trillion naira ($45 billion) in income from oil and gas this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Magnowski in Abuja at dmagnowski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net Sarah McGregor, Michael Gunn

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