Nigeria’s apex bank, the central bank of Nigeria as of March 8, 2020, still has on its website a published crude oil price of $61.15 per barrel. This is despite the steep fall in the price of oil in recent weeks crashing to as low as $45 on Saturday.
Crude oil prices have fallen sharply during the week following the breakdown in talks between OPEC and non-OPEC countries led by Russia. As a response to the drop in the price of oil, OPEC countries preferred a cut in output to retain a stable floor in oil prices. However, Russia refused the cuts preferring to maintain current output levels.
In response to the breakdown in talks, Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the largest oil company in the world has slashed the price at which it sells oil. According to Bloomberg Saudi Aramco “lowered April pricing for crude sales to Asia by $4 to $6 a barrel and to the U.S. by $7 a barrel, it said in a pricing announcement emailed Saturday just before midnight Saudi time.”
The CBN’s delay in updating its website to reflect the true cost of crude oil could well be an administrative oversight as the prices are updated nearly on a daily basis. The last time the website was updated its crude oil chart was on February 21, 2020, with a price of $61.15 still retained. Not updating the website may however stoke cynical views from critics who have trust issues with the CBN and its data.
Is there a reason why the prices are yet to change? Is it deliberate and meant to create an impression to an arm of government?
Previous Website Gaffe: In 2019, the CBN published on the right side of its website that the exchange rate was now “market-determined” sending the media in a frenzy. It quickly denied this after it was reported by several news media platforms including Nairametrics. In its denial, the CBN claimed there was no change to its exchange rate structure.