Nigerian President Jonathan Signs 2013 Spending Plan Into Law

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan approved a 4.98 trillion naira ($31.6 billion) budget for 2013, higher than he originally proposed to lawmakers in October, presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said.

The appropriation bill “will be further considered by the National Assembly” to ensure Jonathan’s observations on it are included, Abati said in an e-mailed statement.

The legislature on Dec. 20 approved a 4.98 trillion naira spending plan for 2013, higher than the 4.92 trillion naira budget Jonathan presented. Lawmakers increased the benchmark oil price by $4 to $79 a barrel, providing more funds to the government to spend and narrowing the budget deficit to 1.18 percent from 2.17 percent. The country expects to produce 2.53 million barrels of oil a day this year, according to the budget.

Africa’s top oil producer and most populous country depends on crude exports for more than 90 percent of foreign income and about 80 percent of government revenue, according to the Finance Ministry. The budget includes 2.3 billion naira for recurrent expenditure and 1.6 trillion naira for capital projects. The West African country will spend 591.7 billion naira to service debt in 2013.

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