LOLON DAGABy Ibrahim Akawu

Niger state governor, Alh Abubakar Sani Bello has requested the state House of Assembly to review downward the 2020 budget from N155.4b to N122.4, cutting down N33b due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor in a letter to the speaker, Hon Abdullahi Bawa Wuse said the downward review was necessitated by the impact of COVID-19 on all sources of revenues in Nigeria. 

He said the reality became necessary to adjust the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) as part of response measures in addressing drop in oil price and production as well as other revenues as a result of coronavirus pandemic and oil crisis.

The governor said the production benchmark of $56 per barrel and 2.1 million barrel per day adopted in the MTEF has been reviewed down to $20pd and 1.5mbpd respectively. The exchange rate has also been reviewed upward from N305/$1 to N360/1$.

The projected statutory allocation was also reviewed down from N66.7b to N40.5b, representing 39.32 percent fall in the estimated statutory allocation.

The projected Value Added Tax (VAT) was also affected in the downward review. The projected N18.6b in the approved 2020 budget has been brought down to N14.3b, representing 23.08 percent decrease due to the restrictions placed on movement and businesses.

“The revenue sources that are not affected by the review are dividend from the North-South power, payment from National Electric Liability Company (NELCO) refund from federal roads and PFAs and Family Home Programme”, the governor said.

Governor Bello said even drawdowns from development partners was projected to decrease from N50.2b to N46.5b. 

He urged the house to deliberate on the matter and approve the request.