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Nigeria's August gross revenues tick up on higher tax receipts

Nigeria's gross revenues inched up 0.8% in August to 682.1 billion naira ($1.79 billion) from the previous month as a rise in VAT and corporate tax receipts helped offset a drop in oil income, the government said.

ABUJA, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Nigeria's gross revenues inched up 0.8% in August to 682.1 billion naira ($1.79 billion) from the previous month as a rise in VAT and corporate tax receipts helped offset a drop in oil income, the government said.

It said oil revenue fell 2.2% to 531.8 billion naira, while the value added tax (VAT), corporate tax and import duty receipts increased. The government also said the balance of its oil surplus savings account stood at $72.41 million as of Sept. 17.

OPEC member Nigeria relies on crude sales for two-thirds of government revenue, which together with value added tax (VAT) receipts make up the bulk of gross revenues.

In February, the government increased the VAT to 7.5% from 5% to boost revenues, seen among the lowest in the world, and last month, the central bank unified its multiple exchange rates to generate more naira from Nigeria's crude receipts.

The price of oil, Nigeria's main export, fell sharply early this year as the coronavirus outbreak hit demand, cutting government revenues, weakening the naira and blowing a hole in government finances.

Global oil benchmark Brent LCOc1 has recovered from a 21-year low below $16 plumbed in April and crude prices ticked up on Friday after Saudi Arabia pressed allies to stick to production quotas.

Still, subdued demand amid concerns about the global economic outlook has been weighing on crude sales.

Nigeria is expecting World Bank's approval for a $1.5 billion budget loan, which has been delayed.

($1 = 380.70 naira)

(Reporting by Camillus Eboh Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

((chijioke.ohuocha@thomsonreuters.com; +234 703 4180 621; Reuters Messaging: chijioke.ohuocha.thomsonreuters@reuters.net))

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