The Federal Executive Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday in Abuja approved the amendment of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework of 2020 to 2022 as well as amendment to the 2020 budget.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, made this known at the end of the virtual session of the Federal Executive Council, which had only few members present at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja,
President Buhari had in December 2019 signed the 2020 appropriation bill of N10,594,362,364,830 into law.
The budget was increased from N10.33 trillion to N10.594 billion by the National Assembly, with Nigeria’s daily oil production rate at 2.18 million per barrel, but increased the Oil Benchmark Price to $57 per barrel against the $55 proposed by the Executive.
However, the Minister announced that the Council approved a revised budget of 10.523 trillion, a difference of N71.5 billion when compared to the approved budget of N10.594 trillion.
Ahmed said the Council approved the reduction of oil benchmark price from the initial $57 to $25 per barrel, crude oil production from 2.18 million to 1.94 million per day.
She said: “The council has approved our recommendations and the approval has these key parameters.
“The crude oil price is approved at $25 per barrel, crude oil production is at 1.94 million barrels per day and then an exchange rate of N360 to $1.
“The revised budget is now in the total sum of N10.523 trillion, a difference of just about N71.5 billion when compared to the approved budget.
“This is because as we cut down the size of the budget, we also have to bring in new expenditure previously not budgeted to enable us adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Federal Government in this budget will have direct revenue of funding the budget of N5.158 billion.
“The deficit to this budget, N5.365 trillion, and this will be financed by both domestic as well as foreign borrowing.
“The foreign borrowing we are doing for 2020 are all concessionary loans from the IMF, which has already been approved and has crystallised, from the World Bank, Islamic Development as well as Afro EXZIM 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.”
The minister added that revenue to be realised from privatisation would also be used in financing the projects.
She said: “The multilateral loans draw down coming from special accounts and coming from the privatisation will fund the fiscal deficit of N5.365 trillion that we have in the proposed amendment of the 2020 budget.”
She also revealed that the Federal Government would on behalf of Ebonyi State Government obtain a loan of $80 million from the Islamic Development Bank for the construction of Abakiliki Ring Road.
While the Federal Government is the one borrowing from the bank, Ahmed said the Federal Government will be on-lending this loans to Ebonyi State Government.
She said: “We have done our debts sustainability analysis that proves that Ebonyi State has the capacity to repay this loan.
“This Ebonyi ring roads connects 13 local governments in the state as well as the neighbouring Cameroon republic.
“It is a major road that will provide access to the citizens in the state, to farmers, markets and will enhance economic activities in the state.
“And the neighbouring states will also benefit from this project.”
The Minister disclosed that the Council also approved the purchase of three locally manufactured boats for the Nigeria Customs Service for its surveillance and anti-corruption activities on the maritime waters.