August 3, 2015
Volume 2 April 2015
OPEC weekly basket price increased marginally from $45.09 on June 17, 2016 to $45.95 on June 24, 2016, while Nigerias bonny light increased from $47.61 to $48.90 (with a peak of $49.2 on June 23, 2016)within the same period. The rise in oil price, amidst downward pressures, was likely driven by expectations that the UK would remain in the EU. However, price fell (to $47.61) on June 24, 2016 following the outcome of the UK referendum (on June 23, 2016) to leave the EU. This was driven by concerns over a possible contagion effect of further disintegration on the EU (a major oil consumer) which could drive down oil demand in the longer term. In the medium term, oil prices could face further pressure as a result of rising crude oil output and attenuating production disruptions in Canada and Nigeria. Although, the recent rise in oil prices seem transient, Nigeria can benefit from the marginal rise if disruptions in oil production is quickly resolved
Crude oil prices fluctuated during the review week. OPEC weekly basket price decreased marginally from $53.63 on February 24, 2017 to $53.34 on March 3, 2017. Similarly, Brent crude declined (week-on-week) by 0.84 percent to $55.15, while Bonny light decreased by 2.4 percent to $54.4 per barrel. During the week, reports of Russias incomplete compliance to agreed production cut and rising United States crude production/inventories, led to the slight pressure exerted on oil prices. The uncertainties and volatility of global crude oil price stresses the need for the government to channel efforts at developing other key sectors of the economy, particularly the manufacturing sector.
Latest Doing Business report by the World Bank ranks Nigeria as one of the top 10 economies that showed notable improvements in doing business in 2016/2017. Precisely, the report which presents quantitative indicators on business regulation compared across 190 economies and ranked Nigeria 145th - up by 24 positions from the previous report ranking, to reach its highest rank since 2013. This may not be unexpected, given that it is consequent upon various business environment reforms in 2016. Particularly, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) set up in 2016 enacted 31 reforms to improve business(such as improving credit to small and medium-size businesses) all of were enacted into law in May 2017.
Crude oil prices have sustained upward increases for the past few weeks in October. While upward trajectory of crude oil prices is expected to be sustained in the short term in line with OPECs production cuts deal expected to run until March 2018, it is important to note that crude oil prices would remain volatile. The Nigerian government therefore should take advantage of periods of high revenue from crude oil exports to develop other sectors (such as Agriculture, Manufacturing and Services sectors) of the economy as key exporting and revenue generation sectors, and thus minimize volatility risks