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Oil Price Slump Reduces Sector’s Output by N3.6tn

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The massive drop in global oil prices impacted negatively on the performance of the Nigerian oil and gas sector, which recorded a decline of N3.6tn in output in the 2015 fiscal period, according to punch report.

A report showing the performance of the sector, which was obtained by our correspondent from the National Bureau of Statistics, revealed that in monetary terms, the sector recorded a huge decline of 37.5 per cent from N9.61tn in 2014 to N5.99tn at the end of last year.

Further analysis of the report showed that since the second quarter of the 2014 fiscal year, the petroleum sector had been recording steady decline in output

Between the first and second quarters of 2014, the sector witnessed an increase in output from N2.61tn to N2.63tn.

However, due to the drop in oil prices, which began in June 2014, the sector’s contribution to the economy could not be sustained as it started declining steadily from the third quarter.

It dropped to N2.32tn in the third quarter of 2014 and further went down to N2.04tn in the fourth quarter.

In 2015, the sector witnessed its worst performance in recent times, contributing the sums of N1.39tn, N1.74tn, N1.53tn and N1.31tn to the economy in the four quarters of the year.

The report stated that the dismal performance of the oil and gas sector also impacted negatively on the contribution of the mining and quarrying sector to the economy.

There are four main activities that make up the mining and quarrying sector. They are crude petroleum and natural gas, coal mining, metal ore and other minerals.

The NBS report put the growth in the mining and quarrying sector at 5.18 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2015 as against 8.56 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2014.

It stated, “On a nominal basis, the sector slowed in the fourth quarter of 2015 by 35.12 per cent (year-on-year) during the quarter.

“This was substantially below the growth recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2014. This drop is attributable to the falling oil prices.”

Speaking on the low output of the sector, financial experts told our correspondent that the inability of the government to effectively diversify the economy away from oil was responsible for the drop in performance.

For instance, a former Managing Director, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Rislanudeeen Mohammed, said the country should have built enough fiscal buffers when crude oil sold for as high as $140 per barrel.

He said, “Nigeria is a mono product economy basically. We export only crude because 70 per cent of our income is derived from oil; 94 per cent of our foreign earnings is derived from oil, and oil contributes only about 10 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product.

“When the price of oil was going up, when it was in the region of $140, Nigeria was making a lot of money for years. What Nigeria should have done is to build fiscal buffers. But this didn’t happen owing to constitutional challenges.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Prepaid Meter is Free, Buhari Warns DisCos, Agents

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President Muhammadu Buhari once again warned Power Distributing Companies (DisCos) and their agents selling prepaid meters to electricity customers against the Federal Government directive that meter is free.

Ahmed Rufai Zakar, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, who represented Buhari at the FGN/NLC-TUC ad-hoc committee on electricity tariff stakeholders held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Wednesday, said President Buhari understood people’s concerns on issues surrounding electricity and was determined to curb and deal with unscrupulous individuals in the power sector.

He said, “We have made it very clear through the regulators direct order as well as intervention from the Ministry of Power that the meters are to be provided to Nigerians at no cost.

“Even for meters that were paid for, there is the directive from the regulator to the discos that they would need to find a way to reimburse those citizens over time.

“In cases where we find any disco or disco representative selling the meters or exploiting Nigerians to be able to get meters by paying, we would take the full measures of the law.

“The President has mandated that these meters must be free. We have also said that they must come from local manufacturers.

“This would create jobs and revive our industry.”

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Economy

Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS

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Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.

“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.

“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.

“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.

“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”

Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.

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Economy

Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey

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The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.

The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.

He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”

Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.

“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.

“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”

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