* Nigeria mired in recession after oil price slump
* To increase oil production to 2.5 mln bpd - document
* Aims to cut petroleum product imports by 60 pct - document
By Paul Carsten
ABUJA, Feb 11 Nigeria's economy is projected to
have contracted 1.54 percent in 2016, according to a budget
ministry document, with Africa's most populous country mired in
its first recession in a quarter of a century.
Nigeria is heavily dependent on crude oil exports to fuel
its economy, but low global prices and militant attacks on the
southeastern Delta oil hub have hammered those exports and
slashed government revenues.
"The Nigerian economy, in response to both external and
internal economic pressures, inevitably contracted and is
currently in recession with a projected growth of -1.54 percent
for 2016," the document released to Reuters by the ministry on
The budget ministry draft, called "Key issues in the
Economic Recovery and Growth Plan", said the recession was also
caused by growth dependent on consumption rather than investment
and "huge leaks in government resources through corruption and
The International Monetary Fund has predicted that Nigeria's
economy would shrink 1.8 percent in 2016. Final official figures
are due to be released by Nigeria on Feb. 28.
President Muhammadu Buhari's government came to power on a
pledge to diversify the economy, fight corruption and tackle the
Islamist Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.
But Buhari's critics say the administration has made little
headway, with the economy in recession, corruption still endemic
and Boko Haram continuing to carry out attacks.
Nigeria's central bank, backed by Buhari, has also kept the
naira rate to the dollar at 40 percent above the unofficial - or
parallel - market rate, which has dried up dollar supplies on
The government is now formulating an "Economic Recovery and
Growth Plan" for 2017 to 2020.
"First-class infrastructure and an economic environment that
supports the private sector and enables it to expand, take risk
and employ people are essential to achieve Nigeria's aspirations
for a dynamic, competitive economy," the budget ministry's
document on the plan said.
Nigeria also plans to increase oil production to 2.5 million
barrels per day by 2020, the document said. In January the vice
president said production was 1.7-1.8 million barrels per day.
The government also wants to improve domestic refineries so
that petroleum product imports can be cut by 60 percent by 2018,
said the document.
To lift growth, the plan will focus on building up Nigeria's
agriculture, energy and small and medium-sized businesses, the
document said, adding that the country aims to have 10 gigawatts
of power capacity by 2020.
Of particular concern is job creation, said the document, as
unemployment steadily rises. The unemployment rate in the third
quarter of 2016, the latest for which there is publicly
available data, was 13.9 percent. At the end of 2015, the rate
was 6.4 percent.
(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Alison Williams)