* Nigeria current oil output at 1.7-1.8 mln bdp -vice
* Govt aims to sell $1 bln Eurobonds in March -vice
* Naira official, black market rate to be "unified" this
year -vice president
(Adds remarks on oil output, Eurobond sale)
By Dmitry Zhdannikov and Sujata Rao
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 17 Nigeria needs to
close the gap between the official and black market rates for
the naira against the dollar "very soon", Vice President Yemi
Osinbajo said on Tuesday, as Africa's largest economy grapples
with inflation and the risks of devaluation.
"The gap between the official and parallel market... it
isn't helpful," he told reporters at the World Economic Forum in
Davos. "If you look at the economic recovery and growth plan it
is the expectation that this is a conversation we are having
with central bank."
The naira's official rate, controlled by the government, has
hovered just above 300 to the dollar since it was devalued in
June. But that is still 40 percent stronger than rates on the
parallel market, a gap that is discouraging investment from
overseas and leaving Nigeria starved of foreign currency.
The official and black market naira foreign exchange rates
will be "unified" this year, but there is no time frame for when
it could happen, said Osinbajo.
Financial institutions, among others, have argued that
Nigeria must allow its currency to float freely to solve its
foreign exchange woes, a measure which has met opposition from
President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria's lack of dollars has been exacerbated by a crunch
in oil production, caused by militant attacks on facilities in
the crude-rich regions in the southeast Delta region, and low
global prices for oil, on which the government depends for 70
percent of its revenues.
"The current output is 1.7-1.8 million barrels per day and
it could improve very quickly as soon as we sort out things in
the Delta," Osinbajo said.
In an effort to end militant attacks and remain "actively
engaged", Osinbajo travelled to the southeast Delta region for
talks with militants earlier this week, he told reporters.
Additionally, Nigeria aims to sell Eurobonds worth $1
billion in March, said Osinbajo, rather than February as
originally hoped, which could help refill the government's
(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Sujata Rao; Writing by Ulf
Laessing and Paul Carsten; Editing by Dominic Evans and Adrian