The Federal Government has today proposed the slashing of the proposed oil benchmark which was earlier put at $57 per barrel for the year 2020 budget to $30 per barrel to accommodate reality.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed disclosed this today in Abuja after holding a meeting with the executive arm of government and the leadership of the National Assembly.
The meeting was convened to review the year 2020 budget and Medium Term Expenditure Framework, Most especially, now that the effect of coronavirus pandemic is hitting hard on the global economy.
According to the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, the meeting was convened to discuss the proposed review of the year 2020 budget and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
The Minister during the meeting proposed the review of the 2020 budget using the oil benchmark of $30 per barrel price as against the earlier set $57 per barrel passed in December last year by the lawmakers.
In her remark, she said the initiative was part of the measure to prepare for the worst-case scenario because of eventuality as well as prepare the country’s economy protected.
She further explained to the lawmakers that budgeted revenues for the Nigeria Custom Service have been reduced from N1.5trn to N943bn as volume of trade is anticipated to drop.
The Minister added, “The privatisation proceeds will be cut by 50 per cent, based on the adverse economic outlook on sales of the Independent Power Projects and other assets.”
She also said that the Federal government has undertaken cuts to Revenue-related expenditure for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for several projects included in the 2020 Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly in December 2019.
Explaining further, the Minister added, “The Federal Government is working on Fiscal Stimulus Measures to provide fiscal relief for taxpayers and key economic sectors.
“We will incentivise employers to retain and recruit staff during the economic downturn.
“We will stimulate investment in critical infrastructure; review non-essential tax waivers to optimise revenues, and compliment monetary and trade interventions to respond to the crisis.”