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Nigeria’s budget will suffer severe strain due to impact of coronavirus —Finance Minister

Minister-of-Finance-Zainab-Ahmed

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has declared that the country’s budget will suffer severe strain due to the impact that the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus is having on the global economy, especially the international oil market.

Ahmed stated this on Wednesday at a consultative round-table with Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Abuja while also describing the fall in the price of oil as a “shock”.

She also added at the round-table that the effect of coronavirus which has quickly spread across the globe must force the country to plot its future without relying on oil as its main income earner.

Ahmed said: “The sudden and unexpected drop in crude prices to just over $30 comes as a shock and great surprise.

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“These strong headwinds would reinforce the wake-up call to life without oil. But that should not spread panic and speculation in our economy.

“We need to put our hands together to weather the storm. We need to work together to take the opportunities provided by this very harsh reality.

“We also need to mobilize local savings. Before the crash of the crude oil price, the Ministry of FBNP has reached out to the private sector and formed a committee to fashion out a National Savings Policy.

“This will enable us infuse into the capital market various instruments to suite several investors need. This will include long term instruments that will be suitable for investor groups that have patient capital such as pension funds,” the minister added.

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