April 13, 2013 / 5:51 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 2-Nigeria gov't revenue rises on oil, gas payments

ABUJA, April 13 (Reuters) - Nigerian government revenues rose in March from February after it received overdue payments for oil and gas, the accountant general said on Saturday.

Nigeria received gross revenues of 595.7 billion naira ($3.8 billion) in March, higher than the 571.7 billion naira in February, Jonah Otunla said.

Government earnings are down sharply compared with a year ago when it earned 726.8 billion naira in March 2012.

The government will distribute 731.1 billion naira to federal, state and local administrations, down from 888.4 billion naira in February, he said.

The government withdrew 123.3 billion naira from the country’s oil savings to top up March revenues, leaving a balance of $7 billion in the excess crude account.

The account, which provides a buffer to protect Africa’s second-biggest economy from oil price shocks, held $9 billion at the end of last year.

Crude oil production fell in March due to production outages at Royal Dutch Shell’s Qua Iboe terminal and the Eni operated Brass terminal, Otunla said.

There was also maintenance work at Okono, Brass and Amenam terminals, he said.

Oil and gas exports account for around 80 percent of government revenues and over 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings.

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