The World Economic Outlook report, recently released by the World Bank, reduced its growth projection for Nigeria to 2.1 percent in 20181, from 2.5 percent2. The new growth projection is considerably lower than the 3.5 percent 2018 growth rate projected by the federal government of Nigeria. However, at 2.1 percent, the growth is a significant improvement from actual 2017 growth rate of 0.83 percent; and this outlook has been hinged on improving oil prices, revenue and production, and foreign exchange measures that contribute to better foreign exchange availability.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Global crude prices settled lower in the review week (September 29 to October 6, 2017). Precisely, a barrel of Brent crude sold for about $56, showing a 6.3 percent decrease. Nigerias Bonny light exchanged at $56.76 per barrel as at October 6, 2017. The draw down in price may be attributable to indications of higher output, as revealed by the addition of more production rigs by the U.S, rise in Iraqs crude exports and survey showing OPECs overall boosted supply.
Internally generated revenue by 35 states for the 2016 fiscal year increased by 17.5 percent to N802 billion from N683 billion generated in the preceding year. A breakdown of the IGR shows that the increase was driven by PAYE, Direct assessment, Road taxes, Revenue from MDAs and other taxes. The highest and lowest revenue generating states were Lagos (38%) and Ebonyi (0.1%) respectively. An improvement in the efficiency of the tax system could improve the contributions of the IGR to overall government revenue. Particularly, incorporating workers in small stores, agricultural and informal businesses into the tax system; building capacity of tax officials and computerizing their operations; as well as investing in quality data collection and access could provide some quick wins.
Recently released data by the Debt Management Office reveals a further increase in Nigerias debt stock as at the end of 2017Q3. Total debt stock stood at N20.37 trillion as at September 20172, increasing by 3.75 percent Quarter-over- Quarter and 20.67 percent Year-on-Year. External debts rose 2 percent to N4.69 trillion, while domestic debts (FGN and States) grew by 4.3 percent to N15.68 trillion both accounting for approximately 23 percent and 77 percent of total debt stock respectively. Obviously, Nigerias increasing debt accumulation at a rate faster than GDP growth rate, clearly exacerbates difficulties in meeting debt repayment and sustainability of debt servicing measures. The recent borrowing surge should be utilized to provide socially viable and profitable infrastructure so as to minimize the future debt burden.
This brief examines the challenges in the discharge of statutory transparency roles by strategic regulatory institutions in the oil sector and also identifies policy interventions to improve access to information on key oil sector processes and transactions.