Nigeria spent only half its budget through September, ministry says – Reuters

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria spent only a little more than half its budget for 2016 through September, even though the year is three-quarters over, the budget ministry said on Friday.

However, the ministry also said it had faced “unanticipated revenue shortfalls”. It did not give details on the shortfalls.

At the end of September, the ministry said, 3.6 trillion naira ($11.82 billion) of this year’s 6.06 trillion naira budget had been spent.

Of that, 754 billion naira went for capital expenditures to help drag Africa’s biggest economy out of recession, exceeding 2015 levels, the ministry said in a statement.

Debt service has been met on schedule, it said, adding that 1.14 trillion naira had been spent on domestic and foreign debt.

The ministry gave no figures for revenue, but it said the unspecified shortfalls were caused by militant attacks on oil facilities, which temporarily cut output by more than half.

The West African nation has seen oil revenues slump, eroding public finances and its currency.

The government has been seeking to fund a 2016 deficit of 2.2 trillion naira from foreign and domestic debt. So far, only a $1 billion loan from the African Development Bank has been confirmed.

Nigeria is currently trying to sell Eurobonds worth $1 billion, for which it has received commitments worth $500 million, its finance minister said on Thursday.

($1 = 304.5000 naira)

(Reporting by Felix Onuah and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Larry King)