Coronavirus: FG to release N10bn to Lagos, NCDC N6.5bn




NNPC

Lagos State Government would receive financial support from the Federal Government to the tune of N10 billion to combat Coronavirus spread in the state.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed who disclosed this on Wednesday, also said FG would be releasing the total sum of N6.5 billion in two tranches (N1.5 billion and N5 billion) to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as intervention to assist in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease in Nigeria. 
Ahmed made the announcement during a meeting with the leadership of the national assembly on efforts to review the 2020 budget in line with the reality on ground.
In her presentation, the Minister explained that “prior to COVID-19 and Oil price decline, the Nigerian economy was already fragile and vulnerable.”
According to her, due to the a global economic downturn precipitated by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, international Oil prices plunged as low as $22 (USD) per barrel on the international market. 
She added that the impact of the pandemic which resulted in international crisis created a disruption in travel and trade, and put “increasing pressure on the naira and foreign reserves as the crude oil sales receipts decline and the country’s micro-economic outlook worsens.”
Ahmed said that in view of Nigeria’s economic realities, the Crisis Management Committee constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari in response to the COVID-19 and Oil Price Decline Crisis expressed concern that “the decline in international oil prices or domestic production may be magnified if a severe outbreak of the pandemic occurs in Nigeria.”
Accordingly, the Finance Minister proposed a review of the 2020 budget using a US$30 per barrel price benchmark as against USD$57 initially passed in December by the National Assembly, to prepare for the worst case scenario, as well as insulate the Nigeria economy against any form of unexpected crisis.  
She also told the leadership of the National Assembly that budgeted revenues for the Nigeria Customs Service have been reduced from N1.5 trillion to N943 billion “due to anticipated reduction in trade volumes; and privatization proceeds to be cut by 50 percent, based on the adverse economic outlook on sales of the Independent Power Projects (IPPs) and other assets.”
Similarly, Ahmed disclosed that the Federal Government has undertaken cuts to Revenue-related expenditures for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for several projects included in the 2020 Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly in December, 2019.
“The Federal Government is working on Fiscal Stimulus Measures to provide fiscal relief for Taxpayers and key economic sectors; incentivize employers to retain and recruit staff during the economic downturn; stimulate investment in critical infrastructure; review non-essential tax waivers to optimize revenues; and compliment monetary and trade interventions to respond to the crisis,” the Finance Minister disclosed. 
She added that the Federal Government had made provision for health sector interventions by introducing import duty waivers for essential input for pharmaceutical firms; tax waivers on new equipment; and deferment of tax to increase production. 
In addition, she informed the lawmakers that Nigeria had received a grant of US$18.2 million from Japan for strengthening seven National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) centres across the country. 
The Finance Minster, said that the sum of one billion naira would be released by government to Pharmaceutical firms in the country. #Covid19Nigeria.




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