Nigerian tobacco industry operates within an oligopolistic market structure, with BAT owning 79% of market brands, which allows for price differentiation across brands. However, price variations are also observed between the same brand both within and across regions, which suggests non-market factors could also contribute to the variability. For instance, the sale of cigarettes in sticks and the significant distance between production hubs and retail points, which generates asymmetric information, transportation cost and opportunity for arbitrage.
Policy Brief & Alerts
Available data from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates a decline in oil and other petroleum production between 2015 and 2016. Crude oil production fell by 16 percent, from 777.5 million barrels in 2015 to 656.8 million barrels in 2016. This is also indicative of the number of exploratory rig count that fell from 15 rigs to 8 rigs in 2016. Similarly, Gas production declined by 10 percent to 2,711 million one thousand standard cubic feet (mscf) in 2016. The significant decline in crude oil and petroleum production, brings to perspective the extent of the damage caused on production pipelines by militants in the Niger Delta region in 2016. It is therefore important to invest national resources in maintaining domestic peace and security, especially in resource-rich regions of the country.
Available data shows that headline inflation rates increased and remained high in most countries in the region in February 2017. Specifically, inflation rate increased in Egypt (30.2), Burundi (20.9 percent), Kenya (10.28), and Ethiopia (8.5 percent), while it eased in Nigeria (17.78 percent), Ghana (13.2 percent), South Africa (6.3 percent), and Namibia (7.8 percent). Seychelles (-0.6 percent) remained in deflation while Sudan (32.86 percent) and Tunisia (4.6 percent) had unchanged inflation rates within the review period. Increased cost of food continued to plague the region as food component of inflation remained the major driver of inflation. Drought in East Africa continues to compound price pressure in the region. Inflation rates in Burundi6, Kenya and Ethiopia increased by 8, 3.29, and 2.4 percentage points respectively, signifying the three highest price increase in the review period
Latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report by the International Monetary Fund reveals that Nigerias economy will grow by 1.9 percent in 2018 an unchanged stance from earlier projections. However, the figure is 2.9 percentage points lower than the 4.8 percent 2018 estimated growth rate in Nigerias ERGP (Economic Recovery and Growth Plan) 2 showing a very large disparity between domestic and international growth forecasts for Nigeria. The Funds projection however seems to have taken into cognizance underlying factors that could slow growth in the medium term: faster pace of population growth relative to GDP growth3, poor policy implementation, banking system fragilities and foreign exchange market segmentation.