- FG Cuts Privatisation Target by 50%, Reduces NCS Target
Growing economic uncertainty amid fast-spreading coronavirus as forced the Federal government to cut revenue target from privatisation by 50 percent.
Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, made the statement on Wednesday during a meeting between the executive arm of government and the leadership of the National Assembly in Abuja.
According to a statement by the media office of the Senate President, the executive reviewed the 2020 budget and Medium Term Expenditure Framework due to the current impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s finances.
Also, the minister announced a reduction in the expected revenue of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to N943 billion, down from N1.5 trillion previously expected.
This was after the 2020 benchmark for crude oil was revised down from $57 per barrel to $30 per barrel and the 2020 budget of N10.59 trillion reduced by N1.5 trillion to reflect current economic realities.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also adjusted the official foreign exchange rate of the Naira to a US dollar from N307/$1 to N360/$1 and Bureau de Change rate was moderated from N360/$1 to N380/$1.
Ahmed said: “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 complement monetary and trade interventions to respond to the crisis.”
The pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain and bring global economy to a stop despite efforts to curtail its impact.
Ahmed added that the situation has put “increasing pressure on the naira and foreign reserves as the crude oil sales receipts decline and the country’s micro-economic outlook worsens.”
Ahmed and other African finance ministers had estimated that the continent needs at least $100 billion to protect about 30 million jobs and support the aviation sectors.
However, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced on Wednesday it has established a $3 billion Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) to support African nations.
Other financial institutions like the African Development have stated putting resources together to help the continent recovery process.