Agricultural sector exports increased at a remarkable pace in 2017. Total earnings from agricultural export goods grew by 181 percent to N170.4 billion1, compared to the N60.7 billion earned in 2016. The remarkable improvements in exports and export earnings reflect improvements in agricultural production and supply, at the backdrop of the provision of farm mechanization services2 and a likely boost in harvest periods during the year under review
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
The Executive council recently approved a three-year external borrowing plan (2016-2018) which specifies external borrowing of approximately $30 billion (to be sourced mostly from MDBs) for infrastructure development. Although, the plan is yet to be approved by the Senate, the planned concessional loans for infrastructural development would imply inflows of foreign exchange which could help moderate the exchange rate volatilities in the near term, and offer potential improvement in business productivity and job creation.
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 reduced from $61.14 to $60.73 per barrel (December 1 8, 2017). Similarly, Global oil benchmark crude sold for as low as $61.22 per barrel during the week, down week-on-week by 1.8 percent. Nigerias Bonny light declined slightly by approximately 1 percent to $63.534. The fall in crude prices came after a sharp rise in U.S. inventories of refined fuel, which suggested that actual demand may be weakening5 (the EIA data shows an increase of 8.5 million barrels of stored fuel). Given that crude oil revenue remains critical to Nigerias budget performance, investments aimed at improving growth and competitiveness of other key sectors is essential to minimize distortions on budgetary expenditure.