- FG Cuts Oil Benchmark, Revised Down 2020 Budget to N10.52 Trillion
The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday lowered Nigeria’s crude oil benchmark from $30 per barrel to $25 for the year 2020.
The budget for the year now stood at N10.52 trillion, down from the initial N10.59 trillion.
This was in line with the current economic realities following over 60 percent declined in oil prices and the nation’s revenue generation.
It should be recalled that the federal government had revised down oil benchmark from the initial $57 per barrel to $30 in March, however, rising global uncertainties, low economic activities amid the ongoing lockdown and projected dollar illiquidity have forced the government to once again cut the oil benchmark to $25 per barrel and subsequently reduce the 2020 budget.
Speaking after the meeting held in Abuja, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning said the nation’s daily crude oil production has now been reduced to 1.94 million barrels per day, up from about 2.1 million barrels per day.
She also said the Naira exchange rate has been set at N360/$ for the appropriation bill, up from N306/$.
She stated, “The revised budget is now in the total sum of N10.52tn, a difference of just about N71.5m when compared to the approved budget.
“This is because, as we cut the size of the budget, we also have to bring in new expenditure previously not budgeted, to enable us to adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Minister, the falling revenue generation due to weak oil prices forced the executive to review the budget and devised how to finance the N5.365 trillion budget deficit.
The minister said, “The Federal Government in this budget will have direct revenue of funding the budget of N5.158tn. The deficit to this budget (is) N5.365tn and this will be financed by both domestic as well as foreign borrowings.
“The foreign borrowings we are doing for 2020 are all concessionary loans from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Islamic Development as well as Afro-EXIM Bank.
“There will also be some drawdown of previously committed loans for major ongoing projects that we will be drawing from both existing facilities as well as some special accounts with the approval of Mr President and the National Assembly.”
COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday
Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.
Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.
The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.
OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.
This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.
Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.
“The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.
“President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.
Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021
The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.
The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.
Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.
According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.
The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.
He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”
He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”
World Bank Expects Nigeria’s Per Capita Income to Dip to 40 Years Low in 2020
The World Bank has raised concern about Nigeria’s rising debt service cost, saying it could incapacitate the nation from necessary infrastructure development and growth.
The multilateral financial institution said the nation’s per capita income could plunge to 40 years low in 2020.
According to Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director for World Bank in Nigeria, the decline in global oil prices had impacted government finances, remittances from the diaspora and the balance of payments.
Chaudhuri, who spoke during the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Government, said while the nation’s debt is between 20 to 30 percent, rising debt service remains the bane of its numerous financial issues and growth.
“Nigeria’s problem is that the debt service takes a big part of the government revenue,” he said.
He said, “Crisis like this is often what it takes to bring a nation together to have that consensus within the political, business, government, military, civil society to say, ‘We have to do something that departs from business as usual.’
“And for Nigeria, this is a critical juncture. With the contraction in GDP that could happen this year, Nigeria’s per capita income could be around what it was in 1980 – four decades ago.”
Nigeria’s per capita income stood at $847.40 in 1980, according to data from the World Bank. It rose to $3,222.69 in 2014 before falling to $2,229.9 in 2019.
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