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Nigeria’s Debt Rises by N4.17tn in One Year

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CBN-headquarters-Investors King

The country’s debt profile has risen to N16.29tn, the Debt Management Office has said.

Statistics obtained from the DMO on Tuesday showed that the country’s total debt liability had risen to N16.29tn as of June 30, 2016. As of June 2015, the country’s total debt stood at N12.12tn.

This means that within the one-year period (July 2015 to June 2016), the country’s total debt rose by N4.17tn, or 34.41 per cent.

A breakdown of the country’s debt profile shows that external debt by the federal and state governments stood at $11.26bn or N3.19tn as of June 30, 2016. It was $10.32bn or N2.03tn by July last year.

According to the DMO, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official exchange rates of N283 to $1 as of June 30, 2016, and N197 as at December 2015 were used in arriving at the naira equivalent of the foreign debt status.

The domestic debt of the Federal Government alone stood at N10.61tn as of June this year, up from N8.4tn a year ago.

This means that within 12 months, the Federal Government’s domestic debt profile rose by N2.21tn or 26.31 per cent.

The domestic debt of the states stood at N2.5tn at the end of June this year, whereas it was N1.69tn in July 2015. This means that within a period of one year, the domestic debt of the states rose by N810bn, an increase of 47.93 per cent.

For domestic debt, FGN Bonds remained the dominant instrument for borrowing from the domestic market, as it accounted for N7.47tn or 70.46 per cent of the Federal Government’s domestic debt profile.

The Nigerian Treasury Bills accounted for N2.9tn or 27.36 per cent of the Federal Government’s domestic debt profile.

Treasury Bonds, on the other hand, accounted for N230.99bn or 2.18 per cent of Federal Government’s domestic borrowing.

Although the Federal Government had for long acknowledged that it was borrowing too much from the domestic debt market and crowding out the private sector, current debt statistics show that the trend has not changed.

The DMO recently said that refinancing 30 per cent of the Federal Government’s domestic debt amounting to N2.56tn within the next one year posed a high risk to the economy.

The DMO, in a document, ‘Nigeria’s Debt Management Strategy 2016-2019’, said at least 30 per cent of the nation’s domestic debt would fall due within a one-year period.

It added that refinancing the 30 per cent component of the domestic debt posed high risk to the economy because of high interest rate.

It stated, “This debt stock is slightly lower than the published FGN’s total debt stock of $55,576.28m (N10,948,526.57m), because the Debt Management Strategy tool treats the NTBs stock based on the discount values and not on the face values; while for the external debt, the tool aggregates the debt by tranche and currency, and applies a common end-period exchange rate. These gave rise to the observed difference.

“The implied interest rate was high at 10.77 per cent, due mainly to the higher interest cost on domestic debt. The portfolio is further characterised by a relatively high share of domestic debt falling due within the next one year.

“Interest rate risk is high, since maturing debt will have to be refinanced at market rates, which could be higher than interest rates on existing debt. The foreign exchange risk is relatively low given the predominance of domestic debt in the portfolio.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Economy

Nigeria’s GDP Grows by 3.46% in Q4 2023, Driven by Services

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Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The GDP expansion though slightly lower than the 3.52% recorded in the same period of 2022, reflects a positive trajectory for the Nigerian economy amid ongoing challenges.

The growth rate surpassed the 2.54% recorded in the preceding quarter, indicating a rebound in economic activity.

The services sector emerged as the key driver of growth expanding by 3.98% and contributing 56.55% to the overall GDP.

This sector’s resilience underscores its pivotal role in Nigeria’s economic landscape, encompassing diverse industries such as telecommunications, finance, and real estate.

Also, the agriculture sector experienced growth, expanding by 2.10% compared to the same period in 2022.

Meanwhile, the industry sector recorded a notable improvement, growing by 3.86%, a stark contrast to the -0.94% contraction observed in the fourth quarter of 2022.

On an annual basis, Nigeria’s GDP expanded by 2.74% in 2023 compared to 3.10% in the previous year, reflecting sustained but moderated growth.

The positive trajectory in GDP growth reflects resilience in the face of various economic challenges.

However, sustaining and accelerating growth will require continued efforts to address structural bottlenecks, foster investment, and promote inclusive economic policies across sectors.

Nigeria’s Oil Sector Growth

During the fourth quarter of 2023, Nigeria’s oil sector posted a real growth rate of 12.11% year-on-year, signifying a significant improvement from previous periods.

This was driven by the surge in average daily oil production to 1.55 million barrels per day (mbpd), a positive shift in the sector’s performance.

Despite challenges such as global market fluctuations and production constraints, the oil sector contributed 4.70% to the nation’s total real GDP in Q4 2023.

Nigeria’s Non-Oil Sector

Nigeria’s non-oil sector sustained growth momentum, posting a 3.07% real growth rate in Q4 2023.

This growth was primarily attributed to key industries including finance, telecommunications, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction.

Accounting for 95.30% of the nation’s GDP in the same quarter, the non-oil sector continues to drive economic diversification efforts and reduce dependence on oil revenues.

Despite facing challenges, such as infrastructure deficits and regulatory bottlenecks, the sector’s resilience underscores its pivotal role in fostering sustainable economic development and inclusive growth agendas.

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Senate Rejects Ministry of Power’s Proposed Electricity Tariff Hikes

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The Nigerian Senate has firmly opposed the Ministry of Power’s proposed electricity tariff hikes, emphasizing the need to alleviate the burden on citizens amidst prevailing economic hardships.

The rejection comes as a response to the Ministry’s consideration of increasing electricity tariffs and removing subsidies in the face of escalating economic challenges across the nation.

During a recent plenary session, Senator Aminu Abbas moved a motion urging the Senate to retain electricity subsidies to mitigate the impact of rising living costs on Nigerians.

The motion garnered unanimous support, with senators expressing concerns over the implications of tariff hikes on an already financially strained populace.

The Senate’s resolution also directed the Committee on Power to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the N2 trillion required for electricity subsidy payments, outstanding debts within the sector, and the state of metering nationwide.

This decision reflects the Senate’s commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in the power sector’s financial management.

The rejection underscores the Senate’s stance against policies that could exacerbate the financial burdens faced by Nigerian citizens.

The move aligns with the Senate’s broader efforts to prioritize the welfare of the populace and advocate for measures that promote economic stability and affordability.

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Economy

Nigerian Oil Transporters End Two-Day Operation Suspension After Government Intervention

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After a two-day suspension of operations by the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), oil transporters have resumed operations following government intervention.

The suspension had caused fuel queues in many states and the Federal Capital Territory, raising concerns among motorists.

The resolution came after talks mediated by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, in Abuja.

Representatives from NARTO, government officials, and stakeholders from the downstream oil sector were present at the meeting.

The agreement reached includes an adjustment in the freight rate for petroleum transporters and a commitment to address other concerns raised by NARTO members.

The decision to resume operations aims to alleviate the challenges faced by Nigerians in accessing petroleum products.

Yusuf Othman, the President of NARTO, confirmed the end of the suspension, urging members to return to work.

The association had initially suspended operations due to the high operational costs, particularly the escalating price of diesel needed to power their trucks for product transportation across the nation.

With operations now back on track, it is hoped that the resumption will help stabilize fuel distribution and prevent further scarcity, ensuring smoother access to petroleum products for consumers across Nigeria.

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