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 external reserve increased week-on-week by 2 percent to $26.3 billion on January 6, 2017. The increase was likely triggered by continued marginal rise in crude oil price, which moderated oil revenue in the review week. The recent rise in crude oil price is likely to be maintained in the short term given the recent oil production cut deal by OPEC members. Thus, the Nigerian government should target short term increase in crude oil production to fully take advantage of Nigerias exemption from oil production cut and potential rise in oil prices.
Economic growth in Africas largest economies improved in the second quarter of 2017 (2017Q2) relative to the preceding quarter (2017 Q1), as Nigeria and South Africa exited recession. Specifically, GDP growth rate was 0.55 percent and 1.1 percent for Nigeria and South Africa in 2017Q2, compared to 0.91 percent and 0.7 percent in 2017Q2, respectively. The increased growth in Nigerias economy was driven by improved performance in the oil sector (increased crude oil price and production) which offset the decrease in non-oil sector growth, while South Africas emergence from recession is supported by growth in its agriculture sector complimented by growth in finance, real estate, business service, mining and quarrying sectors.
Naira appreciated in the week under review. At the parallel market, naira gained 0.54 percent to exchange at N368/$ on June 23, 20175. This is at the backdrop of injections into the forex market by the CBN to the tune of $195 million at the beginning of the review week, to meet various forex demands. This is amid a slight week-on-week increase in the external reserves (by 0.1 percent to $30.23 billion). Despite the recent naira appreciation, the long-term prospects seem bleak given that the ongoing intervention that seeks to stabilize naira by depleting reserves is unsustainable.
Recent domestic Crude oil statistics from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), reveals an increase in total crude oil export sales in December 2016. Relative to November 2016, total export sales of crude oil rose from $166.18 million to $195.40 million in December 2016 representing 17.6 percentage (Month-on-Month) increase. The increase is attributable to a rise in crude oil production following a drastic (Year-on-Year) reduction in pipeline vandalism in the preceding month. Given that improvement in oil revenue is critical to fiscal sustainability and external balance, intensified efforts should be implemented towards the maintenance and sustainability of peace in the Niger Delta Region.