Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the average price paid for premium motor spirit (petrol) by consumers increased by 10.79 percent year-on-year to N161.17 in October 2020 from N145.48 in October 2019.1 This increase can be attributed to the removal of fuel subsidy which is driven by the government’s inability to generate sufficient revenue to fund the subsidy.2 Going forward, pump price is expected to be market-determined, as pump prices will no longer be fixed. From an environmentally sustainable perspective, the subsidy removal is a commendable development in disincentivizing the use of fossil fuel and incentivizing the use of renewable energy while reducing the crowding out of public revenue. However, the subsidy reform is being introduced in a worsening economic climate with implications on the living standard of most citizens. The government can leverage on the opportunity presented by the pandemic to introduce additional structural reforms such as streamlining government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in order to make resources available for development spending.
December 14, 2020
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 46)
Recently released data by the Debt Management Office reveals a further increase in Nigerias debt stock as at the end of 2017Q3. Total debt stock stood at N20.37 trillion as at September 20172, increasing by 3.75 percent Quarter-over- Quarter and 20.67 percent Year-on-Year. External debts rose 2 percent to N4.69 trillion, while domestic debts (FGN and States) grew by 4.3 percent to N15.68 trillion both accounting for approximately 23 percent and 77 percent of total debt stock respectively. Obviously, Nigerias increasing debt accumulation at a rate faster than GDP growth rate, clearly exacerbates difficulties in meeting debt repayment and sustainability of debt servicing measures. The recent borrowing surge should be utilized to provide socially viable and profitable infrastructure so as to minimize the future debt burden.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised down growth forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa by 0.2 percentage points, while retaining growth estimates for Nigeria and South Africa in 2017. Precisely, growth rate forecast for Africa was reduced from 2.8 percent in January 2017 forecast to 2.6 percent in April 2017 forecast while growth estimates were retained at 0.8 percent for both South Africa and Nigeria. In contrast, global economic growth outlook was increased by 0.4 percentage points from 3.1 percent to 3.5 percent within the same period. Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is hampered by adverse cyclical and supply side factors, weak fiscal buffers and rising public debt amongst non-commodity exporters as well as severe drought was experienced in Eastern and Southern Africa