ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's finance minister presented a 4.64 trillion naira budget to parliament for 2014 on Thursday, raising its benchmark oil price assumption to $77.5 a barrel in line with lawmakers' suggestions, which will free up more money for spending.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told journalists after leaving the document with parliament that capital expenditure would be 1.1 trillion naira next year, making it 27 percent of the overall budget, while 2.43 trillion naira will be consumed by the cost of running the government.
She did not give growth forecasts for Africa's second-largest economy, but the budget plan reviewed by Reuters in September put it at 6.75 percent.
Nigerian federal government revenue is expected to be 3.73 trillion naira in 2014, she said, and the fiscal deficit will be 1.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), slightly above the 1.85 percent recorded this year, she said.
She projected oil production, which makes up 80 percent of Nigeria's revenues, at 2.3883 million barrels per day, in line with earlier forecasts seen by some analysts as too optimistic, and a 160 naira to the dollar exchange rate.
Normally the president delivers the budget in a speech.
A parliamentary source said it was a sign of how rocky relations between President Goodluck Jonathan's administration and the lower house had become that he chose not to this time.
Thirty seven Nigerian lawmakers defected to Nigeria's main opposition coalition on Wednesday, giving it a slim majority in the lower house.
Okonjo-Iweala deposited the bill in a box in the green and white of Nigeria's national flag before leaving without saying a word. She later gave the key numbers to journalists outside the assembly.
Lawmakers said they would read the budget over the Christmas period and vote on it next year.
The benchmark oil price assumption, above which oil revenues are deposited into an oil savings account, was $74 a barrel in the original budget plan.
The rise to $77.5 a barrel means more money spent and less saved than originally intended, but it is in line with what lawmakers were threatening to inflate it to.
Legislators normally prefer a higher benchmark price to free up more money for spending, especially in the run up to an election. Nigeria is expected to go to the polls early in 2015.
The spending plan was raised from an earlier estimate of 4.5 trillion naira, but the budget is still substantially tighter than last year's 5 trillion naira one.