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Report: Nigeria must reduce government

Jan. 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM

ABUJA, Nigeria, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been told by a key advisory panel to cut government spending to free money for economic development, officials said.

Theophilus Danjuma, chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council, said the government should cut or combine some of the African nation's ministries to free money for the nation's infrastructure and economic development, the BBC reported.

Jonathan thanked the panel for its report.

"You can't provide education, health or security without resources generated from a robust economy," Jonathan said.

Jonathan's budget proposal is now before Parliament. Nearly 75 percent of the $27 billion budget would be spent on running the government and its agencies.

The budget proposes $6.5 billion for spending on infrastructure.

Jonathan last week won the ruling party's ticket to run for president. His opponents in the April election are former anti-corruption campaigner Nuhu Ribadu and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer but the majority of its 150 million people live in poverty, the report said.

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