Senate passes N4.97 trillion 2011 budget

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The Senate earlier today passed a N4.972 trillion 2011 budget , based on a benchmark oil price of $75 a barrel and oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day.

The budget assumes an exchange rate of 150 naira to the U.S. dollar and a 7 percent GDP growth rate.

The spending is made up of N2.467 trillion recurrent expenditure, N1.563 trillion capital expenditure, N497 billion naira in statutory transfers -- which includes payment of bodies such as the judiciary -- and N445 billion debt servicing.

The plans represent a reduction from total approved spending of N5.159 trillion for 2010 but an increase on the N4.226 trillion budget proposal originally submitted to parliament by President Goodluck Jonathan in December.

Analysts have voiced concern about the state of Nigeria's public finances in the run-up to the presidential, parliamentary and state governorship elections next month, in particular high levels of recurrent government spending.