Okonjo-Iweala Explains Crude Oil Price Benchmark of $65/b in 2015 Budget

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister has explained that the ministry has intelligence report that crude oil prices will leverage at over N65 per barrel in 2015.
The minister who made this known at an AIT programme – Political Platform this morning said the government is not foolish to see crude oil price very well below the current benchmark price and still went ahead to fix its 2015 benchmark price at $65 per barrel.
She explained that there are intelligence report at her finger tips that made government take the decision.
The Federal Government also fixed prepared the 2015 budget based on an exchange rate of $165 to the dollar. But it is also well known that the exchange rates escalated to an all-time high of $187 to the dollar during the last auction conducted for the year 2014.
The federal government on Wednesday laid the N4.357 trillion budgets for the 2015 fiscal year before the respective houses of the National Assembly, stating that the economy will grow by 5.5 per cent in 2015, down from an earlier projection of 6.4 per cent, due to lower oil revenues. The budget, which was laid by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was predicated on $65 per barrel oil benchmark and an exchange rate of N165.00 to the dollar. Okonjo-Iweala was accompanied by Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, Director General of Budget Office, Bright Okogu, and some officials of the finance ministry. The budget comprises N2.622 trillion for recurrent expenditure and N627 billion as capital expenditure, following a downward review of the Medium Term Expenditure framework (MTEF) two times owing to tumbling oil prices.

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