The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that Nigeria’s fiscal balance is estimated to increase considerably. More specifically, general government deficit is projected to widen from 4.8 to 5.9 percent of GDP between 2019 and 2020.1 Also, public debt is projected to increase substantially to 34 percent of GDP in 2020 from 29.1 percent in 2019. The increase in government general deficit can be attributed to sharp revenue declines occasioned by the pandemic. Although revenue could increase given the increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate from 5 to 7.5 percent in 2020, and expenditure savings from the removal of power sector and fuel subsidies, the concurrent increase in expenditure related to COVID-19 emergency support will drive the widening fiscal deficit. However, as domestic activities recover to pre-COVID levels and spending on household and businesses vulnerable to the pandemic tapers down, the fiscal deficit is projected to narrow in 2021.
February 19, 2021
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 6)
Power sector analysis shows a decline in power generated by 15.07 percent from a peak of 3,424 mw to 2,908 mw between May 8, 2016 and May 15, 20169. The declining power supply is attributable to vandalism of pipelines and gas shortages, which has a debilitating effect on power generation. As part of the efforts by the Federal Government to improve power supply in the country, the Bank of Industry (BoI) is currently funding intervention projects to provide alternative source of energy (solar) in rural areas across the country10. Since the major problem facing power generation in the country is gas shortages, the government should make concerted efforts to combat vandalism.