The 2017 budget implementation report shows a paltry average performance in 2017, compared to the projections contained in the budget. The actual oil and non-oil revenue generated were N1.1 trillion and N957 billion respectively, considerably below the projected figures of N2.1 trillion1 and N1.4 trillion. Other revenue sources brought the total revenue generated to N2.7 trillion. However, on the expenditure side, the combination of personnel expenditure and debt repayments amounted to N3.5 trillion, which exceeded total revenue by N885 billion. This implies that Nigeria borrowed to pay salaries and service debts in 2017. As long as the culture of making unrealistic budget projections continues, we expect to record low budget implementation going forward. To address the wide gap between actual and expected budget performance, better forecast of future revenue alongside making less ambitious spending plans is critical.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Recently released data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that there was significant increase in Nigerias total merchandise trade for 2016Q3. Basically, the total merchandise trade increased (quarter-on-quarter) by 16.29 percent to N4, 722 billion in 2016Q3;owing to 29.1 percent increase in exports and 6.2 percent rise in imports. Oil exports increased by 31 percent to N1, 943 billion, while non-oil exports increased by 20.5 percent to N440 billion. However, on the aggregate, Nigeria recorded yet another trade deficit of N104 billion, indicating continuous higher imports relative to exports. Overall, though there is improvement in the performance of non-oil sector, however, this is insufficient to effectively complement the loss in oil trade sustained since the beginning of oil price crash. This suggests that diversification into non-oil sector may not be able to rescue the economy in the short term. However, while the diversification efforts should be sustained, eliminating hurdles in oil production may be instrumental to higher exports, especially as oil price increase is gaining momentum.
Nigerias inflation rate remained above CBNs bandwidth of 6-9 per cent. Specifically, the inflation rate increased slightly from 9.55 percent in December 2015 to 9.62 percent in January 20165. The Core sub-index remains the main driver of inflation in Nigeria. The higher prices of items in the Core sub-index such as clothing and foot wears are reflective of higher domestic production costs as a result of the decline in the value of the naira relative to the dollar. However, in the period, the price increase was moderated by the stable price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). Going forward, without any sustainable policy measure to prevent the further depreciation of the naira, inflation may exceed the current single digit inflation rate in the near term.
Nigerias external reserve rose to its 19-month high in the week under review (March 3, 2017 to March 10, 2017). Precisely, the reserve improved by a daily average-percentage-increase of 0.21 percent, from $29.79 billion on March 3, 2017 to $30.04 billion on March 10, 2017 the highest level since August 2015. The rising reserve at the backdrop of steady revenue from improved domestic crude oil production/prices and forex inflows from rising exports, has reduced pressure on the Naira the naira has witnessed marginal but steady appreciation. While the recent improvement in oil revenue is a welcome development, concerted efforts need be made to develop the Non-oil sector so as to mitigate future oil revenue shocks.
This report examines Federal Governments budget, appropriation and implementation in the three main social sectors of the Nigerian economy - Education, Health and Water.