The Nigerian government, at its Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting Wednesday, endorsed the revised 2020 budget, adopting a benchmark of $25 per barrel after months of deliberation.
Fiscal authorities have been grappling with steep fall in income as government suggested last week that an 80% plunge in the projected net oil and gas revenue could trigger a slash of the fund available for distribution among government tiers through the Federation Account Allocation Committee from the N5.5 trillion earlier proposed to N1.1 trillion.
As of the third week of March, the country was contemplating revising the benchmark downward from $57 per barrel to $30 based on an estimated daily crude oil production of 2.18 million barrels.
“We are in the process of an amendment that is bringing down the revenue indicator to $20 per barrel,” Zainab Ahmed at a web conference last week.
But the $25 announced today could mean government was turning back from its last position and would no longer foot-drag on account of improved oil prices at the international market in the past couple of days.
The newly signed budget demonstrates that Nigeria is nursing the ambition of producing an average of 1.94 million barrels of oil per day this year amidst the coronavirus crisis.