Nigeria Plans Budget Review After Covid-19 Hits Oil Prices

(Bloomberg) — Nigeria may have to adjust its budget this year after fears of coronavirus pandemic dragged the price of crude under the target set in its 2020 spending plan.

“The current crude oil price of $53 a barrel is below the budget benchmark. So what we are doing is studying the situation. We are committed to doing a midterm review,” Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance told reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed the country’s 10.6 trillion naira ($29 billion) spending plan into law this year based on an crude price projection of $57 a barrel and targeted oil earnings of 2.64 trillion naira. Brent crude prices are down about 22% this year.

Africa’s largest oil producer relies on earnings from the black commodity for about 50% to 60% of its income and more than 90% of its export revenues.

The International Monetary Fund slashed the West African nation’s economic growth projection to 2% from 2.5% because of a decline in oil prices.

“We are not taking any measures now until we have a reasonable period within which we make a review and then we may need to do an adjustment to the budget through working together with the National Assembly,” she said.

(Adds projected oil earnings to third paragraph)

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