President Muhammadu Buhari is currently holding talks with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The agenda of the meeting is not known yet.
However, the Federal Government had mulled the idea of seeking the downward review of the N10.6tn 2020 National Budget following the fall of the global crude oil price due to the outbreak of Coronavirus ravaging many countries.
This move, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, said the government would pursue by working with National Assembly.
Hajiya Ahmed told journalists that the 2020 budget might be reviewed downward.
“We’re concerned because it does have an impact on revenue and at the current crude oil price of 53 percent is below the budget bench mark.
“We’re studying the situation and when the budget was passed, we committed to do a mid-term review. We’ll do the mid-term review and if the revenues are so significantly affected, we’ll have to do some revisions in the budget by way of budget adjustment,” she said.
Zainab Ahmed described the oil price slash as a shock, saying it was never expected, adding that the development was a wake-up call and Nigeria must begin to look beyond oil now.
President Buhari last week said that the outbreak of Coronavirus was affecting Nigeria’s main source of revenue.
He was speaking on the impact of coronavirus on the nation’s revenue for the first time while receiving workers in the health sector under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly Healthcare Professionals Associations.
Hard times ahead
Health concerns over the outbreak of the virus have resulted in the closure of factories in China, one of Nigeria’s largest trading partners, and reduction in imports, global travel and cancellation of foreign exchange deals, business travels, conferences, sporting events, among others.
Besides the effect of coronavirus, oil prices also fell after Saudi Arabia announced massive discounts to its official prices in response to OPEC allies’ failure to reach a middle ground over deeper supply cuts.
The sudden oil price slash has triggered a warning from the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, who said last Wednesday that Nigerians should prepare for tough times in at least next three months ahead.
After Monday’s reduction in crude oil prices to about $34.97 per barrel, Kyari said at a consultative roundtable on the Nigerian economy that his warning was based on his experience on the workings of the global oil market.