Nigeria seeks improved tax and customs revenue collection to fund 2017 budget -minister


ABUJA, June 19 (Reuters) - Nigeria seeks to improve its
collection of revenues from taxes and customs duties to fund the
country's record 7.44 trillion-naira ($22.99 billion) 2017
budget, the minister of budget and  national planning said on
    Africa's largest economy has been in recession since last
year, largely due to low oil prices and militant attacks on the
country's Niger Delta energy facilities. Oil sales usually bring
in two-thirds of the government's revenue.
    Udoma Udo Udoma, the budget minister, said the government
was "making strenuous efforts to find the resources required" to
implement its 2017 spending plan, signed into law last week,
which seeks to increase capital expenditure to stimulate growth.
    "We are challenging our revenue generating agencies,
particularly the (Federal Inland Revenue Service) FIRS and
customs, to improve their efficiencies and broaden their reach
so as to achieve the targets set for them in the 2017 Budget,"
said Udoma.
    The minister also said the government was making efforts to
engage with communities in the Niger Delta to avoid a repeat of
the disruption caused to oil production by last year's attacks.
    Udoma made the comments during a public review of the
spending plan. The minister also commented on last year's
    Udoma said "as at year-end" the government's actual revenue
in 2016 was 2.95 trillion naira, compared with the 3.85 trillion
naira budgeted. And he said oil revenue was 698 billion naira -
97 percent of the sum budgeted.

($1 = 323.6800 naira)

 (Reporting by Camillus Eboh; writing by Alexis Akwagyiram;
Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
 ((alexis.akwagyiram@thomsonreuters.com; +234 8188 779 319;
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