Resurgence of covid-19 in Europe may affect Nigeria’s 2021 budget estimates – Finance Minister

Resurgence of covid-19 in Europe may affect Nigeria’s 2021 budget estimates – Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said on Thursday that the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe may affect the 2021 budget estimate.

Ahmed, who disclosed this when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance to defend the 2021 ministry’s budget, said the ministry did not anticipate the second phase of the pandemic which has caused the oil price to decline in the international market during the preparation of the 2021 budget.

The 2021 budget was predicated on $40 per barrel.

But the crude oil currently sells for $37 in the international market.

She said the Federal Government took the safer path with the $40 per barrel benchmark for crude oil in the 2021 budget but the second wave of COVID-19 in Europe threatened the estimate.

Ahmed said: “The actual projection was $40 per barrel and that is the average price that we projected to be for the year.

“Some of the institutions that are responsible for tracking price of crude oil, actually have crude oil price going as far as $50, $52 per barrel.

“We took a safer path. It seems the second wave of COVID-19 in Europe is affecting us. We are hoping to have clarity as to which direction to take in the next week or two.”

She, however, dismissed insinuations that the federal government may increase Value Added Tax again by 2.5 percent in 2021.

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