The Federal Executive Council at its first virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 13 revised the 2020 National budget and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2020-2022 following the recommendation of the Ministry of Finance. The revised budget now stands at a total of N10.523 trillion, cut down by N71.5 billion from the original budget passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by President Buhari in December 2019, which stood at N10.594 trillion. Following this, the leadership of the National Assembly met with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on May 14, to be briefed on the proposed amendment of the budget.
The revised budget is predicated on an oil price benchmark of $25 per barrel from the initial rate of $57 per barrel, at a production rate of 1.94 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of N360 to $1. The Federal Government will be funding the budget by N5.158 trillion while the deficit of N5.365 trillion will be financed by domestic and foreign borrowing. Some of the foreign borrowing include concessionary loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the African Export-Import Bank.
The review of the budget which came on a backdrop of the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decline in the global price of crude oil implies an increase by N318 billion from N10.276 trillion that was earlier proposed in a move to review the budget in April 2020. According to the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, the review process involved the incorporation of new expenditure not previously budgeted in order to ensure effective implementation of required emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis.