A trader changes dollars for naira at a currency exchange store in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo: Reuters
Lagos – Nigeria’s upper house approved the issuance of a new $500 million (R6.3 billion) eurobond on Wednesday, the chamber’s deputy president said.

This is to help fund the budget deficit at a time Africa’s biggest economy faces a shortage of hard currency.

The government, which plans to increase public spending by almost 20 percent this year, sought the go-ahead for a new issue after raising $1 billion from international debt markets last month.

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The increase in public spending comes after the Nigerian economy posted its first annual contraction in 25 years last year as a slump in global oil prices reduced government revenues and battered the naira currency.

Nigeria struggled to finance its planned spending of 6.1 trillion naira (R247 billion ) last year.