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Nigeria to review budget as oil price plunges

The Federal Government has announced plans to review the 2020 budget as crude oil revenue comes under pressure from the effects of the raging coronavirus infection globally.

The Minister of Finance/Budget Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said on Wednesday that the government was worried about the drop in oil revenue and would soon start a mid-term review of the budget to determine the way forward.

“We are concerned about the current drop in oil price because it’s now below our budget. We will do a mid-term review, and if the impact is so much, we will need to do an adjustment in the budget, working together with the National Assembly,” Ahmed told State House correspondents after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.

The session was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

The price of Nigeria’s Brent crude was well above $60 per barrel when Buhari signed the N10.59tn budget into law in December last year.

The budget has an oil benchmark of $57 per barrel.

However, the price has been on a free fall since January, worsening lately with the outbreak of coronavirus.

As of Wednesday when the minister spoke, the price hovered around $53 per barrel, recording a loss of $4 off the benchmark.

But Ahmed noted that a rise in daily oil production above the budgeted two million barrels could draw in some money to cover the loss.

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