The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has assured members of the upper chamber of the National Assembly that Nigerians have no course to be afraid on how 2020 budget will be funded considering the drop of oil price in the global market.
The minister while briefing the leadership of the red chamber on Thursday, reveal that the amount available for funding the 2020 Budget is now estimated at N5.548 trillion.
She also spoke on the plan by the federal government to amend the N10.59 trillion 2020 budget passed by the National Assembly in December last year.
She said the budget is down from N8.419 trillion, a revised revenue estimate which is 34 percent (N2.87 trillion) lower than what was initially approved, adding that the crude oil benchmark price is reduced from US$57 per barrel to US$25 per barrel.
“The federal government also adjusted the budget exchange rate to N360/US$1; and reduced the upfront fiscal deductions by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for mandated Oil and Gas sector expenditures by 65 percent from N1.223 trillion to N424 billion.
“The US$57 crude oil price benchmark approved in the 2020 budget is no longer sustainable.
“It is necessary to reallocate resources in the 2020 budget, to ensure the effective implementation of required emergency measures, and mitigate the negative socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In line with the global economic outlook and relevant domestic considerations, the assumptions underpinning the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the 2020 Budget was revised to slash crude oil benchmark price from US$57 per barrel to US$25 per barrel; reduce crude oil production benchmark from 2.18 million barrels per day to 1.9 mbpd.
“Federal Government’s aggregate expenditure budget was slashed by N88.412 billion; Statutory Transfer from N560.47 billion to N397.87 billion; and Overhead costs of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government from N302.43 billion to N240.91 billion.
“Debt Service provision was, however, increased from N2.453 trillion to N2.678 trillion.
“The sum of N186.37 billion will be applied toward COVID-19 interventions across the federation, while an additional N213.60 billion was provided in the Service Wide Votes for COVID-19 Crisis Intervention recurrent”, she said.
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