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Nigerian leader signs revised 2020 budget into law, pledges to contain spread of coronavirus

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the 2020 Amended Budget of the government underscores the Administration’s firm commitment to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the lives and livelihood of our people.In his address at the signing of the budget on Friday in Abuja, Buhari said: “With these budget amendments, as well as our recently launched N2.3 trillion Stimulus Programme, we are well-positioned to safeguard the economy.

“Considering recent budget implementation challenges, I have directed that efforts be made to ensure effective implementation of the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 in order to realise its laudable objectives.”

He directed all Ministers to ensure that their Ministries, Departments and Agencies intensify capital project delivery efforts and fully cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to achieve the laudable objectives of the Budget.

Buhari said that some progress had been in the implementation of the Appropriation Act 2020 and that as at 31st May 2020, the sum of N253.33 billion had been released for the implementation of capital projects and that “the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is in the process of effecting budgetary releases that will ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies receive at least 50 percent of their amended capital budgets by the end of this month”.

The announced that the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020, that he  had just signed into law, provides for aggregate expenditures of N10.81 trillion, which is an increase of N216 billion over the level of expenditure initially proposed in the 2020 Appropriation Act.

Buhari recalled that he signed the 2020 Appropriation Act into law on Tuesday, 17th December 2019 and that it became necessary to revise the Appropriation Act 2020 in response to recent developments, in particular, the COVID-19 Pandemic. Crude oil prices in the world market declined sharply from a high of $72.20 per barrel in January 2020 to below $20 per barrel in April 2020, and have since remained around $40 per barrel.

He noted that Nigeria’s crude oil production quota has been reduced as part of the efforts of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to strengthen the oil market and that the global trade has generally been disrupted as almost all economies were locked down for protracted periods in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“All these developments are plunging the global economy into recession, and Nigeria has not escaped the impact of this. In effect, the assumptions underlying the 2020 Appropriation Act are no longer sustainable.

“It is therefore imperative to adjust our expected revenues, considering the widespread disruptions in domestic and international economic activities due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the containment measures taken in response thereto,” he said.

He assured that the minister of finance would later give the breakdown of the revised budget.

Published on 28.04.2020

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