Nigeria’s government is amending its 2020 budget to assume an oil price of $20 per barrel, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said on Tuesday.
Nigeria’s economy, which emerged from a recession in 2017, was already contending with low growth of around 2% before oil prices plummeted. Africa’s top oil exporter relies on crude sales for around 90% of foreign exchange earnings and more than half of government revenue.
Global crude oil prices have plummeted in the last few months. In March, the finance minister said the budget would be cut and the initial assumed oil price of $57 per barrel would be reduced.
“We are in the process of an amendment that is bringing down the revenue indicator to $20 per barrel,” said Ahmed in a web conference about the impact of low oil prices on the country.
Ahmed also said Nigerian oil and gas projects will be “delivered much later than originally planned” due to upstream budget cuts.
Nigeria’s economy has been battered by low oil prices following a dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Africa’s most populous country recorded its first confirmed coronavirus case in late February. There have been 2,802 recorded cases and 93 deaths out of 200 million inhabitants.