Crude oil production from Nigeria dropped the most in August among its peers in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, paring the gain it recorded in the previous month.
Nigeria had in March lost the status of Africa’s top oil producer to Angola when the country’s production dropped to 1.677 million barrels per day, compared to Angola’s 1.782 million bpd.
OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report for September, which was released on Monday, showed that Nigeria’s oil output fell to 1.468 million bpd in August from 1.52 million bpd in the previous month, based on direct communication.
According to secondary sources, OPEC crude oil production stood at 33.24 million bpd in August, a decrease of 23,000 bpd over the previous month.
“Crude oil output increased mainly from Saudi Arabia and Iran, while Nigeria and Libya showed the largest drop,” the 14-member oil cartel said in the report.
Angola saw its oil output rise to 1.775 million bpd in August from 1.767 million bpd the previous month, based on direct communication, according to the OPEC report.
Libya’s production dropped to 292,000 bpd from 313,000 bpd, while Venezuela produced 2.104 million bpd, down from 2.117 million bpd.
Ecuador’s output fell to 542,000 bpd from 549,000 bpd, while Iraq saw its production dropped by 2,000 barrels to 4.354 million bpd.
Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the group, recorded the biggest increase in August as it produced 10.605 million bpd, up from 10.577 million bpd in the previous month.
Iran, which has continued to increase output in a bid to snap up more market share after sanctions were lifted, produced 3.653 million bpd, up from 3.631 million bpd.
According to the report, Africa’s oil supply is projected to average 2.12 million bpd in 2016. This represents a decline of 20,000 bpd year-on-year and reflects an upward revision of 10,000 bpd from the August report.
This year, oil production from Congo is only expected to grow by 50,000 bpd to average 320,000 bpd, while output in other African countries, despite increasing output from Ghana’s production start-up in the Tweneboa, Enyenra, Ntomme project and a production ramp-up in Jubilee field in the second half of the year, will decline or be stagnant, OPEC said.
It raised its forecast of oil supplies from non-member countries in 2017 as new fields come online and United States’ shale drillers prove more resilient than expected to cheap crude, pointing to a larger surplus in the market next year.
Demand for crude from OPEC will average 32.48 million bpd in 2017, down by 530,000 bpd from the previous forecast, according to the report.
Oil is trading at $47 a barrel, half its level of mid-2014, as a supply glut that OPEC hoped cheap oil would banish sticks around.
“It is expected that there will be higher non-OPEC production in the second half of 2016 compared to the first half,” OPEC said in the report.
The cartel expects non-OPEC supply to rise by 200,000 bpd in 2017, as against a previous forecast of 150,000-bpd decline.
Near-record OPEC output, and higher supply from outside, could make it harder for OPEC and Russia to come up with steps to support the market. Producers are expected to meet in Algeria on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum from September 26 to 28.
An attempt by producers to agree to a production freeze in April failed as Iran, wanting to boost oil exports that had been restrained by Western sanctions, refused to join and Saudi Arabia insisted all producers took part.
Trade Expert Calls For Increased Investments In AfCFTA to Boost The African Economy
There have been calls for more investments in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to boost the African economy.
At a recent virtual conference organised by the African Public Relations Association (APRA), an expert on trade and finance, Mr. Jesuseun Fatoyinbo, Head of Trade, Transactional Products and Services at Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, highlighted the benefits of increasing investments in the AfCFTA agreement during one of the sessions held as part of the three-day virtual conference.
Jesuseun stated that the AfCFTA agreement will allow African-owned enterprises to enter new markets, expand their customer base and create new commodities and services in the continent. The agreement was created in 2018, and a total of 54 African countries have signed up. Of these, 30 countries have ratified the agreement and 28 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification.
AfCFTA holds great promise for the African economy as it seeks to eliminate tariffs on intra-African trade, making it easier for businesses to trade within Africa and benefit from its emerging markets.
Speaking on the impact of trade on economic development, Jesuseun said: “The status of intra-regional trade within the European, North American and Asian economic corridors is currently estimated at 64 percent, 50 percent and 60 percent respectively.
“However, the status of intra-African trade currently stands at 17 percent, which is significantly lower than other continental regions. This limits business investments within the African continent while increasing trade dependence on foreign markets.” He emphasised the need for improvement in order to expand the African economy.
According to him, increased investments between African countries will trigger trade growth in Africa which will, in turn, promote industrialisation, economic development and subsequently lead to increased employment opportunities across the continent.
Jesuseun advised stakeholders on the need to observe other continental trade trends, as continental trade usually yields positive results. He said, “All sectors need to be involved in AfCFTA to promote industrial development and sustainable socio-economic growth in order to deepen the economic integration of Africa.”
The Stanbic IBTC Head of Trade cited some nations in East Africa which were insulated from economic recession as a result of intra-trade activities. He noted that “despite the severe issues caused by the COVID -19 pandemic in 2020, Tanzania and Ethiopia avoided economic recession, due to their ever-improving trade policies.”
Jesuseun advocated the replication of their strategies across other African nations, to boost Africa’s income and lift millions of Africans out of poverty. Speaking on Stanbic IBTC’s capabilities to boost trade, he said, “Stanbic IBTC is leveraging world-class digital technologies to make commercial imports and exports easier. The organisation is committed to making trade processes seamless and easier with technology.”
The trade expert stated that the pandemic unearthed the possibility of remote verification as against the prevalent practice of physical documentation. He cited examples of African trade’s past experiences, where many trade processes had experienced inefficacies and bottlenecks because of physical documentation.
Jesuseun concluded that trade processes need to be digitized, to enable seamless multilateral trade between African countries. He urged other stakeholders to create awareness about the usefulness of the AfCFTA agreement.
Ogun Records N13.3B Internally Generated Revenue Monthly in Q1 of 2021
Ogun State Government has recorded an average of N13.3billion monthly as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the first quarter of 2021.
The government said it is also planning to raise its yearly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate from the current single digit by 25 percent.
The Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Okubadejo disclosed this to newsmen in Abeokuta ahead of the state’s investment summit tagged: ‘OgunIseya21: Becoming Africa’s Model Industrial and Logistics Hub’, slated for July 13th-14th, 2021.
Okubadejo who doubles as the State’s Chief Economic Adviser noted that the state’s IGR had experienced an upward movement after last year’s shortfall due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant lockdown.
“We had a significant turnaround in the first quarter of this year. In fact, as of April, we have done almost N40bn in the Internally Generated Revenue. Our target this year is to exceed all the previous records we have set in IGR. That’s why we have put in place, all these transformation initiatives, friendly policies and also facilitate this investment summit to further showcase Ogun State as the preferred industrial destination,” he said.
The Finance Commissioner was supported in highlighting the investment potentials of the summit by his counterparts from the Ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe; Works and Infrastructure, Ade Adesanya; Culture and Tourism, Toyin Taiwo; Budget and Planning, Olaolu Olabimtan and the Director-General, Public-Private Partnership, Dapo Oduwole.
Unemployment To Push More Nigerians Into Poverty – NESG
On Friday, The Nigerian Economic Summit Group said that many more Nigerians are expected to fall into the poverty trap amid rising unemployment in the country.
The NESG, a private sector-led think-tank, noted in its economic report for the first quarter of 2021 that the country’s economic growth in the period under review was relatively weak.
It said, “Nigeria’s economic growth trajectory is better described as jobless and less inclusive even in the heydays of high growth regime in the 2000s.
“While the Nigerian economy recovered from the recession in Q4 of 2020, the unemployment rate spiked to its highest level ever at 33.3 percent in the same quarter.
“With the COVID-19 crisis heightening the rate of joblessness, many Nigerians are expected to fall into the poverty trap, going forward.”
The group noted that the World Bank estimated an increase in the number of poor Nigerians to 90 million in 2020 from 83 million in 2019.
“This corresponds to a rise in headcount poverty ratio to 44.1 percent in 2020 from 40.1 percent in 2019. The rising levels of unemployment and poverty are reflected in the persistent insecurity and social vices, with attendant huge economic costs,” it said.
According to the report, huge dependence on proceeds from crude oil, leaving other revenue sources unexplored, indicates that Nigeria is not set to rein in debt accumulation in the short to medium term.
The NESG noted that public debt stock continued to trend upwards, with a jump from N7.6tn ($48.7bn) in 2012 to N32.9tn ($86.8bn) in 2020.
It said public debts grew by 20 percent between 2019 and 2020, adding, “This is partly due to the need for emergency funds to combat the global pandemic and alleviate its adverse economic impacts on households and businesses.”
According to the group, Nigeria needs more than an economic rebound, and there is a need to improve growth inclusiveness.
It said, “Nigeria has struggled to achieve inclusive growth for many decades. Since recovery from the 2016 recession, the economy has been on a fragile growth path until it slipped into another recession in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This suggests that the country needs to attain high and sustainable economic growth to become strong and resilient.
“The relationship between economic growth and unemployment rate in Nigeria suggests that economic growth has not led to a reduction in the unemployment rate – jobless growth.”
The NESG said to reverse this recurring trend, there was an urgent need for collaborative efforts between the government and relevant stakeholders towards addressing the constraints to value chain development in high-growth and employment-elastic sectors, including manufacturing, construction, trade, education, health and professional services, with ICT and renewable energy sectors as growth enablers.
It noted that despite the re-opening of the land borders that the Nigerian government shut since October 2019, inflation reached a four-year high of 18.1 percent in April 2021.
“While we expect improved agricultural production in coming months to partially ease inflationary pressures, this positive impact could be suppressed by recurring key structural bottlenecks including insecurity in the food-producing regions, electricity tariff hike, fuel price increase and hike in transport and logistic costs,” it added.
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