Africa's richest economy is borrowing money to pay salaries as it struggles through a "difficult cash crunch" brought on by halved oil prices, Nigeria's finance minister revealed.
The news comes as Nigeria prepares to welcome a new government at the
end of this month and the country's naira currency remains in a slump,
hovering between 180 and 220 to the US dollar. It was trading at 160 a
few months ago.
Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala tried to be upbeat in a speech on
Tuesday after lawmakers approved the 2015 budget - revised three times
because of slashed oil prices that provide 80 percent of revenue for the
government of Africa's biggest petroleum producer.
She said "revenue challenges" had prohibited the release of any funds
for capital expenditure this year but that food prices and single-digit
inflation remained quite stable. And she said the economy still was on
course to grow 4.8 percent this year.
"We have front-loaded the borrowing program to manage the cash crunch," Okonjo-Iweala told lawmakers.