Nigeria to allocate ₦60b more in Capital Spending

Nigeria is to allocate 60 billion naira ($180 million) more spending on capital projects as part of the 2016 budget in a bid to boost the economy, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said on Friday.

Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, is suffering its worst financial crisis in decades as a slump in oil revenues hammers public finances and the naira. The central bank governor has said recession is likely.

Government capital spending so far has exceeded 400 billion naira this year, Adeosun said, despite the budget being held up for months by wrangling between President Muhammadu Buhari and parliament.

However, with oil prices dropping, the government has struggled to fund the budget. It is now seeking advisers to manage a $1-billion eurobond it intends to offer this year.

"We are going for another capital allocation meeting where we are going to allocate another 60 billion. We are pumping money into the economy at a very rapid rate," Adeosun told reporters.

Buhari on Thursday said the country needed to balance monetary and fiscal policies in order to return to growth.

Adeosun said apart from infrastructure investments, the government was reviewing its tax policies to improve collection and widen the net, make its import tariffs more competitive and cut costs to boost the economy.

Nigeria generated 200 billion naira from independent sources this year which includes revenues from government departments that would have otherwise not been captured in the budget.

The West African nation will tap partnerships with the private sector to boost investment. Adeosun said the government was in discussion with General Electric to develop and operate rail services to improve transport for goods across the country.

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