May 30, 2012 / 12:57 PM / 5 years ago

Nigeria spent half 2012 fuel subsidy budget on arrears

ABUJA, May 30 (Reuters) - Nigeria has already spent half its 2012 fuel subsidy budget on arrears for last year, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, risking Africa’s second-largest economy racking up further debt or running out of money to sustain huge subsidy payments.

Nigeria budgeted 888 billion naira for fuel subsidies this year but it has already spent 451 billion naira on back payments for 2011, the state oil company and finance ministry said, more than double what it had expected to pay in arrears.

Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Tim Cocks and Helen Massy-Beresford

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