- Nigerians Fear Weaker Economy From Rising Inflation – CBN report
Respondents in a survey carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Statistics Department in the fourth quarter of 2018, showed that more Nigerians were sceptical of the country having a weaker economy from rising inflation.
The CBN said the Inflation Attitudes Survey was conducted between November 24 – December 7, 2018 from a sample size of 1,770 households, randomly selected from 207 enumeration areas across the country, with a response rate of 99.2 per cent.
The report stated, “Respondents were asked what would become of the Nigerian economy if prices started to rise faster than they do now. The survey result showed that 44 per cent of the respondents believed that the economy would end up weaker, 14.2 per cent stated that it would be stronger, 18.3 per cent of the respondents believed it would make a little difference, while 22.8 per cent did not know.”
According to the report, the responses opined considerable support for price stability, as majority (44 per cent) agreed that the economy will end up weaker.
It said the results were consistent with the notion that inflation constrained economic growth.
When asked how prices had changed over the past 12 months, respondents gave a median answer of 3.8 per cent.
Of the total respondents, 23.9 per cent thought prices had gone down or not changed, 53.7 per cent felt that prices had risen by at least three per cent, while 17 per cent felt that prices inched up by more than one per cent, but less than three per cent.
Those that had no idea were 5.3 per cent, according to the report.
It report read in part, “The median expectation of price changes over the next 12 months was that prices will inch up by 2.3 per cent. From the total responses, 48.2 per cent of the respondents expected prices to rise by at least three per cent over the next 12 months, 14.3 per cent expected prices to increase by more than one per cent, but less than three per cent.
“However, 30.9 per cent of the respondents were optimistic that prices over the next 12 months will either go down or remain the same.”
On interest rates, it stated that the percentage of respondent households that felt that interest rates had risen in the last 12 months declined by 0.7 points to 28.6 points in the current quarter when compared to 29.3 points attained in Q3, 2018.
On the other hand, nine per cent of respondents believed that interest rates had fallen, 16.8 per cent of the respondents were of the opinion that the rates stayed about the same in the last 12 months, while 45.6 per cent of the households had no idea.
The result revealed that more households had no idea on the direction of interest rate in the past 12 months. On the expected change in interest rates on bank loans and savings over the next 12 months, some respondents (23 per cent) were of the view that the rates would rise, while 17.4 per cent believed that the rates would fall.
However, more respondents (59.6 per cent) of the respondents either expected no change or had no idea.
Furthermore, respondents were asked whether it would be best for the Nigerian economy if interest rates increased or decreased. The results showed that 33 per cent indicated that it would be best for the Nigerian economy if interest rates fell, while 11.1 per cent opted for higher interest rates.
Those that thought that it would make no difference accounted for 12.7 per cent, while 40.2 per cent had no idea.
The responses revealed that while many of the respondents favoured lower interest rates for the Nigerian economy, many more had no idea whether it should rise or fall.
On interest rate-inflation nexus, the report showed that 35.2 per cent thought a rise in interest rates would make prices in the street rise slowly in the short term, as against 11.5 per cent that disagreed.
In the medium term, 33.6 per cent agreed that a rise in interest rates would make prices in the street rise slowly, 12.8 per cent disagreed.
Respondents were asked to choose between raising interest rates in order to keep inflation down and keeping interest rates down to allow prices to rise.
Responding, 21.5 per cent preferred interest rates to rise in order to keep inflation down compared to 25.4 per cent that said they would prefer prices to rise faster, while 50.9 per cent had no idea.
“These responses suggest that given a trade-off, more of the respondents will prefer higher interest rates to higher inflation, which is suggestive of the respondent households’ support for the bank’s price stability objective,” the report added.
Nigeria Earns Extra N318.4 Billion as Crude Oil Hits $67/Barrel
FG Generates Additional Income of N318.4 Billion as Crude Oil Hits $67/Barrel
The Federal Government earned an additional N318.36 billion in February following the surge in crude oil price above $60 per barrel.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, average $60 throughout the month of February.
In March, it rose to $67 per barrel.
According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s crude oil price was retained at $40 per barrel for 2021.
However, she said the nation is presently producing below its 2.5 million barrel per day capacity at 1.7mbpd. This, she said includes 300,000bpd condensates.
“Although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5mbpd, current crude production is about 1.7mbpd, including about 300,000bpd of condensates, which indicates compliance with OPEC quota,” the finance minister stated.
Going by the number, Nigeria is producing 1.4mbpd of crude oil without condensates, but with an additional $20 revenue when compared to the $40 per barrel benchmark for the year. It means the Federal Government realised an additional income of N318.360 billion or $20 X 1.4mbpd X 30days in the month of February.
Crude oil jumped to $68.54 per barrel on Friday following OPEC+’s decision to role-over production cuts.
Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others
The Federal Government and the Kingdom of Morocco have signed five strategic Memoranda of Understanding that will foster Nigerian-Morocco bilateral collaboration and promote the development of hydrocarbons, agriculture, and commerce in both countries.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, led the Nigerian delegation to the agreement signing ceremony on Tuesday at Marrakech, Morocco, while the Chief Executive Officer of OCP Africa, Mr Anouar Jamali, signed for the Kingdom of Morocco, according to a statement by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
Under the agreement between OCP, NSIA and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria will import phosphate from the Kingdom of Morocco and use it to produce blended fertiliser for the local market and export.
The statement said Nigeria would also produce ammonia and export to Morocco.
“As part of the project, the Nigerian Government plans to establish an ammonia plant at Akwa Ibom State,” it said.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, were part of the delegation and they confirmed that their organisations would take equity in the ammonia plant when the Final Investment Decision would be taken, the statement said.
Sylva said the project would broaden economic opportunities for the two nations and improve the wellbeing of the people.
He added that the project would also positively impact agriculture, stimulate the growth of gas-based industries and lead to massive job creation.
He said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and it agencies and other government agencies to give maximum support for the project.
“He mandated me to ensure that at least the first phase of this project is commissioned before the expiration of his second term in office in 2023,” he added.
According to the statement, the MOUs were for the support of the second phase of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative; Shareholders Agreement for the creation of the joint venture company to develop the multipurpose industrial platform and MOU for equity investment by the NNPC in the joint venture and support of the gas.
Other agreements are term sheet for gas sales and aggregation agreement and MOU for land acquisition and administrative facilitation to the establishment of the multipurpose industrial platform for gas sales and aggregation agreement.
The NCDMB boss described the bilateral agreement as significant to the Nigerian economy as it would accelerate Nigeria’s gas monetisation programme through establishment of the ammonia plant in the country.
The agreement would also improve Nigeria’s per capita fertiliser application through importation of phosphate derivatives from Morocco, he added.
Wabote challenged the relevant parties to focus on accelerating the FID, assuring them that the NCDMB would take equity investment for long-term sustainability of the project.
He canvassed for the setting up of a project management oversight structure to ensure project requirements and timelines are met.
“There is also need to determine manpower needs for construction and operations phase of the project and develop training programmes that will create the workforce pool from Nigeria and Morocco and design collaboration framework between research centres in Nigeria and Morocco to develop technology solutions for maintaining the ISBL and OSBL units of the Ammonia complex,” he said.
Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021
Dangote to Sells Petrol in Naira, Plans to Commence Urea Shipment in March 2021
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said Dangote Fertiliser Plant will commence shipment of Urea in March 2021.
The CBN governor disclosed this during an inspection tour of the sites of Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals Complex Fertiliser Plant and Subsea Gas Pipeline at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.
Emefiele further stated that Dangote Refinery would sell refined petroleum products in Naira when it starts production.
This he said would save the country from spending 41 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange on importation of petroleum products yearly.
“Based on agreement and discussions with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the oil companies, the Dangote Refinery can buy its crude in naira, refine it, and produce it for Nigerians’ use in naira,” Mr Emefiele said.
“That is the element where foreign exchange is saved for the country becomes very clear. We are also very optimistic that by refining this product here in Nigeria, all those costs associated with either demurrage from import, costs associated with freight will be totally eliminated.”
Emefiele explained that this will make the price of Nigeria’s petroleum products affordable and cheaper in naira.
“If we are lucky that what the refinery produces is more than we need locally you will see Nigerian businessmen buying small vessels to take them to our West African neighbours to sell to them in naira.
“This will increase our volume in naira and help to push it into the Economic Community of West African States as a currency,” Mr Emefiele said.
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