Business Economy

FG To Reduce 2020 Budget By 1Trillion Naira

The committee set up by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to assess the impact of coronavirus on the 2020 budget submitted an interim report to him on Friday.

The committee is chaired by the Minister of Finance/Budget/National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.
Other members are the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele; and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari.

Buhari appointed the committee on Monday.

Ahmed disclosed to State House Correspondents on Friday that after meeting with Buhari, he again directed the panel to make further consultations with a wider segment of Nigerians before coming up with recommendations on what actions to take.

She said they briefed Buhari on the findings so far, including “looking at ways to stabilise government revenues.”

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Ahmed, who gave no figures, added, “We will be concluding the consultations next week, by which time we will release figures on specific approvals.” This came as Saturday PUNCH learnt that the Federal Government might reduce the budget by over N1tn as part of its immediate response to crashing oil revenues in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19.

The budget of N10.59tn came under implementation challenges after its $57 crude oil benchmark became unsustainable due to a fall in crude price to around $31 earlier in the week.

It later rose to $35.77 as of Wednesday, as experts warned it would crash further again amid the volatility in the market caused by coronavirus.

On Friday, the price of Nigeria’s Brent crude was $34.50.

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