The Nigerian government says the 2020 budget will be cut by 1.5 trillion naira due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Concise News reports that the budget, which was initially N10.59 trillion, will be cut to N9.09 trillion.
The minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, announced the proposed cuts while speaking with newsmen on Wednesday.
According to Ahmed, the budget cut would include N457 billion from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) under-recover.
“From the expenditure side, the president has approved that we should cut down the capital expenditure budgeted by 20% across ministries, departments and agencies,” she said.
“Also, a 25% cut of all government-owned enterprises and these include the ones that are in the national budget, the 10 top ones we included in the 2020 budget but also those we did not include in the 2020 budget.
“So, all of these would have their recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure cut down by 25%.
“By these measures, we expect that the operating surpluses that would accrue to the federation will increase because when their operational expenditure reduces the operating surpluses that they remit to the treasury will also increase significantly.
“I can just say that the bulk cut is about N1.5 trillion, the reduction in the size of the budget. And this includes N457 billion from PMS under-recovery.
“What we have done is that we have written every ministry and given them guidelines on how these adjustments will be made to enable us have detailed inputs from the ministries.”
On recruitment into the country’s civil service, she said it would be halted until there is improvement in economy.
“On recruitment, there is already an instruction to stop recruitment. What the agencies have been doing is replacement but even that is being suspended,” she said.
“When things improve we will go back to the issue of recruitment but for now, our wage bill is already very high.
“The president has directed that salaries and pensions must be paid unfailingly. We are maintaining our workforce as it is but we are just stopping the increase in the size of the nominal roll.”
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