2020 budget deficit jumps to N5.18trn, 50% of current budget size

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The 2020 budget deficit has increased to N5.18 trillion after adjustments were made to revenue projections in line with prevalent global realities.

The deficit in the previous budget was N2.17 trillion. N312 billion was slashed from capital projects in the 2020 budget, representing a 20% cut.

Although the national assembly and judiciary are yet to make adjustments to their budgets, the 2020 budget at its N10.276 trillion size and projected revenue of N5.08 trillion has a 51% deficit of N5.2 trillion.

According to the revised budget documents, new borrowings by the government was adjusted from N1.59 trillion to N4.43 trillion with incremental borrowing projected at N2.84 trillion.

In total, the government hopes to raise N5.189 trillion to fund the 2020 budget.

The projected oil revenue was reviewed downward from N7.67 trillion to N1.44 trillion.

The net non-oil revenue was also projected downward from N6.442 trillion to N5.84 trillion with corporate tax and value-added tax expected to contribute N1.822 trillion and N2.164 trillion down from the original N1.836 and 2.25 trillion respectively.

Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, had explained that the budget had to be revised because of a drop in crude oil prices on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has already requested for $6.9 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) to be able to fulfil its responsibilities.

It has also shelved plans to raise $3.3bn from Eurobonds issuance.

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