NIAMEY, Sept 22 Niger's government has adopted a
zero-deficit budget of 1.279 trillion CFA francs ($2.53 billion)
for 2013, about 11 percent lower than the previous year, a
statement on national television said.
The government said the budget, adopted on Friday, will
focus on boosting growth and ensuring security in West African
state just south of the Sahara.
Niger is struggling to overcome food shortages caused by
poor rains, and growing threats from Islamic militants who have
seized the north of neighbouring Mali.
"The Council of Ministers adopted the draft 2013 budget
balanced in revenues and expenditures at 1.279 trillion CFA
francs," the statement said.
Despite the food crisis that has affected about six million
of its 15 million inhabitants, Niger is expecting economic
growth of between 12 to 15 percent on the back of uranium
mining, oil and infrastructure projects.
Already a top uranium producer, Niger began pumping its
first oil from the estimated 650 million barrels of reserves in
the first quarter of 2012.