- Nigeria Records Positive Trade Balance, Exports Rise to N3.01tn in Q1
Nigeria’s total trade in the first quarter of 2017 stood at N5.30 trillion, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.
The nation’s exports in the period under review stood at N3.01 trillion compared to imports of N2.29 trillion, with a trade balance of N719.38 billion.
The NBS stated that imports fell by 0.9 per cent, adding that the country recorded an increase of 6.5 per cent in external trade.
According to the NBS, the value of the total trade at the end of 2016 was N17. 35 billion, stressing that the figure was 6.5 per cent higher than the value recorded in 2015.
The report, however, stated that Nigeria’s external trade in the fourth quarter of 2016 was valued at N5.28 billion.
“The export component stood at N2.98 billion while the import component stood at N2.31 billion leading to a trade surplus of N671 billion.
“Trade by sector showed that crude oil exports had the largest share of the total trade, accounting for N2.43 billion or 45.9 per cent trade in fourth quarter.
“The second major contributor to total trade by sector was manufactured goods with N1.17 billion or 22.1 per cent of total trade,’’ it stated.
The report stated that manufactured goods were followed by the non-crude oil products, which was also a major contributor to total trade in the quarter under review.
“The non-crude oil products stood at N1.15 billion or 21.8 per cent while Agricultural goods accounted for N212.7 billion or 4 per cent.
“Raw material goods accounted for N309 billion or 5.9 per cent and Solid mineral goods stood at N13.1billion or 0.3 per cent of total trade in the quarter.’’
The report stated that Nigeria’s export intensity in the months of October, November and December 2016 was the highest for South Africa with export intensities of 8.9, 7.3 and 4.1, respectively.
Export intensity in the fourth quarter was also intense with India recording export intensities of 5.8, 5.8 and 1.7 for the last three months of 2016.
“ Spain and Netherlands also had high export intensities with export intensities of 4.8, 2.9 and 2.0 for Spain and 2.2, 1.5 and 2.2 for the Netherlands.
“Although United States was one of Nigeria’s major trading partners, its export intensity was low with 0.6, 0.6 and 0.2 for the last three months of 2016.’’
Meanwhile, the report stated that Nigeria imported mainly from China with total imports of N404.1billion or 17.5 per cent of total imports.
It stated that China was followed by Belgium with N356.46 billion or 15 per cent while import trade with Netherlands which was the third highest was valued at N230 billion or 10 per cent.
“ The remaining trading partners contributed relatively lower proportion of the total import trade.
“United States accounted for N205.6 billion or 8.9 per cent while India accounted for N113.9 billion or 4.9 per cent,’’ the report stated.
NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.
This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.
The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.
Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.
This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.
During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.
Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.
While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.
However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.
CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.
The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.
This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.
Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.
While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.
Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.
President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait
After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.
The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.
Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.
He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.
Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.
He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.
The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.
The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.
The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.
He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.
In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.
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