States’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) declined in the third quarter 2018, replicating the same downward trend as seen in the previous quarter. IGR dropped to N264.38 billion in 2018Q3, compared to N279.78 billion generated in the preceding quarter – down by 5.5 percent1. The recently released IGR report by the NBS also shows that 20 states generated less revenue during the quarter (including the FCT), and only 17 states recorded growth in IGR. Reductions in Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) Tax, Direct Assessment, Road Taxes and revenues from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) prompted the overall decline. In order to expand the tax base thereby improving tax revenues, a special focus should be given to harnessing the informal sector into the tax net.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Inflation rate continued its upward trajectory in the week under review. Specifically, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 1.39 per cent, from 11.38 per cent in February to 12.77 per cent in March, 20161. Remarkably, this is the highest rate since July 2012, representing a 4-year high. While both components of the CPI rose in the period, the food sub-index was largely the main driver of the increase in the CPI, with a growth rate of 1.39 per cent between February and March. The persistent scarcity in petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), has increased transportation costs and the price of food items.
The nations foreign reserves have been on a steady rise. In the review week, reserves increased by $415.2 million from $28.3 billion on February 3, 2017 to $28.8 billion on February 10, 2017. The increase is likely the reflection of a sustained crude oil revenue complemented by moderating global crude oil price and increasing domestic production. This should help strengthen the ability of the CBN to foster forex liquidity, and thus help maintain stability in the domestic forex market. If sustained, it should also help improve the value of the naira overtime. Hence, the government should implement proactive and effective policy strategies to, not only, sustain improvements in oil revenue but also boost non-oil revenue.
The Naira/Dollar exchange rate remained unchanged at ?199/$ in the official market but depreciated from ?263/$ to $267 at the Bureau De Change (BDC) market segment this week. As the naira depreciates, the CBN forex restriction measures continue to widen the gap between the official rate and BDC, which has led to increased calls for naira devaluation. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Business owners are among the major advocates for a relaxation of the forex restrictions set by the CBN, in order to enhance the level of economic activities.