Amid tumbling prices of crude oil, the federal government is set to cut the country’s 2020 budget.
President Muhammadu Buhari will get a report today on what his regime can do to salvage the N10.59tn budget.
The budget review committee, which was set up by Buhari on Monday, is chaired by Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and planning.
Its primary duty is to review the $57 oil benchmark for the budget and ultimately recommend an appropriate size, down from the current N10.59tn.
Other members are Timipre Sylva, the minister of state, pPetroleum resources; Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; and Mele Kyari, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The President had handed the assignment to the committee on Monday after he held a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, with the government officials.
Speaking with State House Correspondents after the meeting, Ahmed said the committee would determine the new benchmark for the budget.
She said, “Our mandate is to make a very quick assessment of the impact of this coronavirus on the economy, especially as it affects the crude oil price.
“We will be writing a report and briefing Mr President tomorrow (Tuesday) or Wednesday morning. After that, we will also have more substantial information for the press.
“It is very clear that we will have to revisit the crude oil benchmark price that we have of $57 per barrel. We have to revisit it and lower the price.”
She added, “Where it will be lowered (benchmark) is the subject of this committee. What the impact will be on that is that there will be reduced revenue to the budget as it will cut the size of the budget.
“The quantum of the cut is what we are supposed to assess as a committee.”
The Buhari regime gave its first hint on a possible cut of the budget after last week’s Federal Executive Council meeting.