NASS, finance minister meet over reviewed 2020 budget

• As FG plans N2.3trn stimulus package, loan

The Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed are holding a meeting on the proposed review of the 2020 Appropriation Act.

According to the presentation, the Federal Government disclosed plans to roll out N2.3 trillion stimulus package as well as loan component as part of efforts geared toward revitalising the economy.

At the meeting, the Federal Government’s delegation underscored the imperative of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) for the survival of the country’s economy.

Also present at the closed-door meeting are members of the Body of Principal Officers and chairmen of key Standing Committees including Appropriations, Finance; Aids, Loans and Debt Management, among others.

Recall that Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday approved the new parameters in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Policy Paper (FSP) for 2020-2022.

According to the new template, the reviewed 2020 budget has new benchmarks include: $25 per oil barrel and a target production rate of 1.94 million barrels per day and N360/$ exchange rate.

Ahmed said the revised budget now amounts to N10.5 trillion, a difference of about N71.5 billion when compared to the initial approved budget.

With the reviewed budget, the Federal Government will fund the budget by N5.158 trillion, while the N5.365 trillion budget deficit is expected to be financed through domestic and foreign borrowings.

The Minister was accompanied by Director-General of Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, and Director General of Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze.

After the meeting which lasted for over 4 hours, the Senators and members of the House of Representatives called for a closed-door session to review various issues raised at the meeting.

Details later…

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