The Nigerian mining and quarrying sector recorded growth in the production of solid minerals in 2018. The total quantity of solid minerals produced rose from 45.7 million tons in 2017, to 55.9 million tons in 20181 – representing a 22% increase. Disaggregated by type of solid mineral, Limestone was the most produced – production grew by 95% to 27.2 million tons in 2018, and accounted for about 49% of the total tons of minerals produced. The growth witnessed in the sector may have emerged from the government’s efforts and incentives to develop the sector and also in a bid to diversify the economy. The government had offered mining companies a three to five year “tax holiday”, duty and tax-free importation of equipment, full ownership of their businesses and the ability to take profits out of the country2. In addition, the government committed about $100 million intervention fund for the sector and awarded mining contracts to ten exploration and consulting firms, in 20183. In addition to ongoing interventions, there is need to minimize the indiscriminate export of mineral commodities especially gold, tin and lead-zinc to foreign smelters, as formalizing these activities offers great potential for a significant source of revenue for Nigeria, away from oil.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
This study investigates the effects of merchandise trade and investment flows on the transmission of business cycles between members of ECOWAS and the major trading partnersbetween 1985 and 2014. Total trade and FDI significantly influence the transmission of business cycles with elasticities of 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively in the long run. There are little variations across the major trading partners and other measures of trade flows. Intra-industry trade flows with all partners, EU and USA influences the cross-country business cycles with elasticities of 1.0%, 0.5% and 1.8%, respectively.
Recently released population estimate figures by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, show a significant increase in Nigerias population, based on the 2006 census. Notably, total population grew by an estimated 40 percent from 2006, to 193 million persons in 2016. Also, disaggregate demographic data from 2007 to 2016, reveals an increase in the number of males (74 million to 99 million) and females (71 million to 95 million), with a 2016 gender (males to females) percentage ratio of 51:49. The high rate of population growth can be attributed to the improvements in average annual rate of natural increase the difference between crude birth rate and death rate. As in preceding years, the composition of children and youths make up the highest share of the population growth. This presents a potential increase in the rate of labour supply. Going forward, there is need for the government to support rapid job creation in order to check the potential upsurge in unemployment rate.
Crude oil price experienced a mixed week from November 18 to November 25, 2016. Specifically, OPEC basket price and Brent crude price fluctuated, to a daily average of $44.6 (from $42.33)and $48.3 (from $46.86)per barrel respectively. The present oil volatility is as a result of sell-offs, attributable to speculations/fears of an insufficient production cut by OPEC (in its bid to control oversupply) - a deal scheduled for its next meeting on November 30th 2016. This speculations have arisen due to the reluctance of major OPEC member country (Saudi Arabia) to participate in the potential oil cut dealwhich could exert a downward pressure on oil prices. However, oil prices should rise if OPEC members agree to the oil cut deal. Irrespective of the outcome of the meeting, Nigeria is exempted from the potential crude oil cut. Thus, it will be optimal for the government to act quickly to address the insurgence in the Niger Delta region, in order to raise domestic oil production as much as possible.