Nigeria: Govt Slashes 2020 Budget As Coronavirus Cases Hit 276

Lagos, Nigeria

The Federal Government has sent a revised 2020 budget to the National Assembly for consideration.

The N10.59trn 2020 budget was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2019.

Buhari had constituted a five-man presidential review committee on the impact of COVID-19 on the nation's economy and proposed a downward review of the 2020 Appropriation Act in view of global economic realities occasioned by the pandemic.

Nigeria yesterday recorded 22 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number in the country to 276.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control yesterday evening said 15 of the new cases were in Lagos, four in the FCT, two in Bauchi and one is Edo.

According to the NCDC, "Twenty-two new cases of #COVID-19 have been reported in Nigeria: 15 in Lagos, 4 in the FCT, 2 in Bauchi, 1 in Edo

"As at 09:00pm 8th April there are 276 confirmed cases of #COVID-19 reported in Nigeria. Forty-four have been discharged with six deaths".

Yesterday, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, met with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of state for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

In the new proposed budget cited by our correspondent, the oil benchmark was slashed from $57 per barrel to $30 per barrel.

The oil production volume was reduced from 2.17 million barrels per day to 1.70 million barrels per day.

The exchange rate was however reviewed upward from N305 to N360 to the Dollar.

Revenue from oil and gas was cut from N7.6trn to N1.4trn; while non-oil revenue was slashed from N6.4trn to N5.8trn.

The capital expenditure was cut by 20% to N312bn. There was also an insertion of N150bn for COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.

Some members of House of Representatives told our reporterson condition of anonymity that they were not informed about the transmission of the reviewed budget to the National Assembly.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan yesterday urged the Federal Government to ensure equity and fairness in the distribution of the stimulus package across the country.

"We must ensure that there is equity, that there is fairness in the interventions. Every part of this country should have something to ameliorate the situation whether it is Coronavirus infected or not.

"We must ensure that these Interventions have very clear and definite measurable targets. We shouldn't just throw money and there and then we don't see anything because the National Assembly will ensure that it monitors every single Kobo if and when the proposal endorsed," Lawan said.

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