Nigeria’s oil benchmark remains $70, says Budget Office

23 February 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The benchmark oil price for Nigeria’s budget for this year remains $70 a barrel, director-general of the Budget Office (BOF), Dr. Bright Okogu, has said.

A statement by the office stated that the clarification had become to correct media reports claiming the figure had been raised to $90 per barrel in the revised 2012 budget before the National Assembly.

The statement read in part: “With regard to the revised 2012 Budget recently submitted to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, some important details in the (said) report were inaccurate.

“For instance, the claim that the budget benchmark has been changed to $90 per barrel is not true. The benchmark price remains $70 per barrel as reflected in the revised Medium Term Fiscal Framework.

“Secondly, the paper also stated that the provision made for subsidy against the background of partial deregulation is N180 billion. The correct figure, as widely published recently, is N888 billion.”

Maintaining that the deficit in the revised budget was within the limit of three per cent of GDP as enunciated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, he further said: “The Budget Office of the Federation would like to stress that the revised budget is a rigorous document focused on growth and development within the context of prudent management of resources.”

The revised 2012 budget was disclosed last week by Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister for finace and coordinating minister for the economy.

Details showed proposed total expenditure of N4.648 trillion, down from N4.749 trillion in the original budget presented by President Goodluck on December 13, 2011 to the National Assembly.

It showed government cut aggregate expenditure by N100.25 billion.

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