By Audrey Lotechukwu
WED, MAY 13 2020-theG&BJournal-The Federal Executive Council (FEC) today approved what analysts say is a ‘’more realistic’’ 2020 budget crude oil benchmark after it reviewed its Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the 2020 budget.
The revised budget benchmark was approved during the FEC meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in a virtual setting.
The review was largely forced on the government by dwindling revenue and the collapsed crude oil price induced by international price war and the coronavirus pandemic.
The agreed new crude oil benchmark will be $25 per/b and at an estimated crude oil production rate of 1.94 million p/day.
The Finance minister Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed early last month hinted that the budget’s crude oil benchmark would be cut from the initial $57 p/barrel to $30.
Federal Revenue projection was subsequently reduced by as much as N3.3 trillion from N8.43 trillion to N5.08 trillion in April. Capital expenditure proposal was also dropped from N4.49 billion to N4.46 billion as the revenue crunch gripped with the widespread pandemic unrelenting.