Coronavirus may force 2020 budget review, says Finance Minister

The fast-spreading coronavirus from China is threatening Nigeria’s main source of revenue – oil.

To this end, the Federal Government is likely to review the N10.59 trillion 2020 budget passed by the National Assembly on December 5 and signed into law on December 17, 2019, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The 2020 budget was predicated on crude oil bench of $57 per barrel and daily production capacity of 2.1 million barrels per day.

The Minister Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, made this disclosure while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Buhari.

Responding to a question on the drop in price of crude oil due to coronavirus and its threat to the national budget, Ahmed said: “We are concern because it does have an impact on revenue and at the current crude oil price of 53 percent is below the budget benchmark. What we are doing is that we are studying the situation and when the budget was passed we committed to do a midterm review. We will do the midterm review and if the revenues are so significantly affected, we will have to do some revisions in the budget by way of budget adjustment.

“I will want to inform that the crude production is now at 2 million barrels per day and in some days it has moved up to 2.1 million barrels per day, so that in itself will be a cushion. All the same, we are not taking any measures now until we have a reasonable period we make a review and then we may need to make an adjustment of budget through working together with the National Assembly.” – The Sun.

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