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Nigeria Must Cut Reliance on Oil Income, Finance Minister Says

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.

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