Figures from the Debt Management Office show a remarkably high percentage change in debt servicing for the first quarter, 2018. Specifically, the Federal Government paid N643 billion for domestic debt servicing1, a quarter-over-quarter and year-on-year increases of 50 percent (from N429.8 billion) and (from N424 billion) respectively. Increasing debt burdens and debt servicing seem to be exacerbated by the high cost of domestic debt, necessitated by huge domestic borrowings to fund budgets and reflate the economy
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
The naira continued its downward trajectory in the review week. Specifically, naira depreciated significantly at the parallel segment by 3.5 percent to a record low of N440/$ on September 23, 2016. Notably, this was driven by the worsening liquidity constraints at the interbank market which left the excess forex demand to be sourced at the parallel market, and thus exerted downward pressure on the naira. The naira is likely to further weaken given that most of the liquidity constraints are exogenously determined and thus forex supply will likely remain subdued by its demand.
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 $46.86)per barrel respectively. The present oil volatility is as a result of sell-offs, attributable to speculations/fears of an insufficient production cut by OPEC (in its bid to control oversupply) - a deal scheduled for its next meeting on November 30th 2016. This speculations have arisen due to the reluctance of major OPEC member country (Saudi Arabia) to participate in the potential oil cut dealwhich could exert a downward pressure on oil prices. However, oil prices should rise if OPEC members agree to the oil cut deal. Irrespective of the outcome of the meeting, Nigeria is exempted from the potential crude oil cut. Thus, it will be optimal for the government to act quickly to address the insurgence in the Niger Delta region, in order to raise domestic oil production as much as possible.
Similar to most sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, Nigeria has a huge infrastructure deficit which considerably limits efforts towards achieving inclusive growth, sustainable development, and poverty reduction. With infrastructure stock estimated at 20-25 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Nigerias infrastructure stock is still significantly lower than the recommended international benchmark of 70 per cent of GDP. The 2014 National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIMP) estimates that a total of US$ 3 trillion of investments, or US$100 billion annually, is required over the next 30 years to bridge Nigerias infrastructure gap. In particular, the Plan estimates that Nigeria will have to spend an annual average of US$ 33 billion infrastructure investments for the period 2014 -2018. This means that Nigeria will have to more than double its spending on infrastructure from the current 2-3 per cent of GDP to around 7 per cent to make appreciable progress in infrastructure development over the next three decades.
OPEC weekly basket price declined by 2.4 percent to $42.68/barrel on September 16, 2016. This was triggered by a rise in US oil reserve, amid an outlook on weak global oil demand. Similarly, provisional data by OPEC reveals a steady decline in Nigerias crude oil production. Notably, production declined by 3.4 percent to 1.47 mbd in August, 2016.