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FG Cut N1.5 Trillion From 2020 Budget, Suspends Recruitment

The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of N1.5 trillion reduction in the N10.59 trillion 2020 budget due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the crude oil price.

It has also suspended recruitments into Ministries, Department and Agencies except those into the security sector.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed these while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.

Mrs Ahmed said, the government was looking at the worst-case scenario in the drop in crude oil price and would adopt $30 benchmark for the revised budget as against the $57 per barrel originally used.

She said the approved cut in the budget amounts to 20 per cent in capital expenditure and 25 per cent in recurrent expenditure.

The minister said the cut includes N457 billion from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) under-recovery, adding that ministries have been given guidelines on how the adjustments will be made.

In his remark at the briefing, the Minister of Health, Dr Ehanire Osagie, revealed that testing centres for COVID-19 have risen to five in the country from the previous three.

He said he had not been contacted by the founder of Alibaba, the Chinese online shopping platform, Mr Jack Ma, who has promised to donate COVID-19 testing kits and other items to each of the 54 African countries.

Also speaking, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said that there was a major challenge of acquiring quarry dust for the rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

He was, however, hopeful that the project would be completed before Easter this year.

Council also received and approved a request from the water resources ministry on plans to get a facility of $700 million from the world bank, for the purpose of boosting rural water supply in the country.

See Also: Lady Who Tested Positive to Coronavirus Shares the Symptoms She Experienced

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