Tobacco use and control in Nigeria and other African countries have received little attention relative to other regions like Asia and Latin America. This is due to the perceived low smoking prevalence in Africa compared to the more immediate need for interventions against infectious diseases. However, the trends are changing quickly. Economic growth rate in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) nearly tripled from an average of 1.7 percent in 80s and 90s to about 4.8 percent in the 2000s and 2010s, with Nigeria growing more than five-fold from 1.2 percent to 6.7 percent within the same period (World Bank, 2018). On a similar trend, albeit of lesser magnitude, is the smoking prevalence in Nigeria which grew from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 17.4 percent in 2015 (World Bank, 2017). A combination of rising incomes, population growth, media-driven social trends, and targeted advertisement by the tobacco industry are the key drivers of the rising prevalence in SSA.
The external reserves decreased week-on-week marginally by 0.2 percent from June 9, 2017 to June 16, 2017. The reserve declined from $30.27 billion to $30.21 billion. Given that crude oil revenue constitutes the most part of the reserve, the decline may be reflective of the week-on-week drop in global crude oil price (Crude oil price fell by approximately 2 percent to $47.377 per barrel as at June 16 2017). The ongoing forex intervention by the monetary authority also poses a challenge to foreign reserve conservation. Given the unimpressive performance of global oil prices in recent time, there is need to explore other areas with great potentials to generate foreign exchange earnings. Diversification of forex earnings remains the key to insulating foreign reserve against fluctuations in global commodity prices. The country can tap into solid minerals sector as alternative source of foreign exchange. Huge investment together with investor-friendly policies in solid minerals would make the sector attractive to investors.
Recently released report by Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI)shows a significant decline in revenue allocation across the three tiers of government for 2016H1 (January to June). Specifically, total disbursements dropped (year-on-year) by 30.45 percent to N2.01 trillion in 2016H1. The drop in revenue allocations is accountable to the decline in both oil and non-oil revenue. While lower oil revenue was triggered by the drastic fall in oil price and production in 2016H1, lower non-oil revenue was driven by the decline in tax revenue occasioned by contraction in economic activities in the review half-year.
OPEC weekly basket price decreased marginally from $45.95 on June 24, 2016 to $45.26 on July 1, 2016,while Nigerias bonny light fell by $1, from $48.90 to $47.91. The apparent decline in crude oil price was driven by lingering market demand uncertainty, following the unexpected Brexit referendum. More so, ease in supply disruptions in Nigeria and Canada may have contributed to the downward pressure on prices. Going forward, until there is greater regulatory precision on global oil output levels, prices may likely remain stuck or continue to exhibit a downward trend. Although, Nigerias fiscal constraints slightly relaxed with oil production increasing in the review week (following repairs on sabotaged pipeline channels), potential global crude oil oversupply threatens governments revenues. However, oversupply threats could be reduced if there is a consensus on oil production quotas in the upcoming OPEC meeting.