The Federal Government has projected that Nigeria will likely exit recession by Q1 2021 amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic disrupting the financial markets.
Taking a cue from the Covid-19 abyss that occurred in March/April this year, some stakeholders now anticipate more downside risks to the recovery of Africa’s largest economy in 2021.
Data retrieved from African Development Bank (AfDB) however, revealed that Real GDP growth in Nigeria’s economy is projected to rise to 2.9% in 2020 and 3.3% in 2021.
However, such metrics depend on how Nigeria’s fiscal officials implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), which emphasizes economic diversification. The recent directive from the apex bank is that Nigerian banks should hold loan-deposit ratios of 60%, which bodes well for increasing lending to the real sector.
Nigeria’s export earnings witnessed an increase, as Brent crude futures trades around $50/barrel, leading to improved foreign exchange reserves and creating the impetus for the central bank to intervene in Nigeria’s foreign exchange market.
Also, the Nigerian stock market closed Year-to-date return and market capitalization settled at 44.56% and N20.3 trillion respectively, printing gains that positioned it amongst the best-performing stocks market in the world and further showed signs of rebounding higher next year.
Consequently, Nairametrics interviewed selected financial experts from diverse backgrounds, on the outlook for Nigeria’s investment sector in 2021.
Anthony Okafor, Ph.D., ACCA, Adjunct Professor at the University of Louisville.
“The COVID 19 pandemic dictated investment decisions in 2020 and may well continue into the New Year. Whether there will be a dramatic shift in 2021 depends on how quickly the virus is tamed through effective deployment of the approved vaccines.
“With the gradual distribution of vaccines across the globe, economic momentum should pick up, with pharmaceutical, aviation, and hospitality industries expected to drive this momentum. The gradual recovery of crude oil prices should help stabilize the naira, increase economic activities, drive capital flows, and reduce uncertainties. Tech companies’ stocks influenced investor behavior in 2020 and are likely to continue with that trajectory in the first half of 2021.
“The global economy was awash with cheap funds in 2020, owing to limited investment opportunities. The almost negative yield witnessed in the fixed income space should reverse in the first quarter, with government’s borrowing expected to outstrip the 2020 figures, as the Buhari administration attempts to walk the economy out of recession amid the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
“Consequently, as investors’ confidence improves and becomes more selective, funds are expected to flow back into the fixed income market to pursue higher yields. However, stocks in the pharmaceutical, aviation, hospitality, and manufacturing industries are expected to dominate investors’ focus.
“Given the liquidity surfeit in the system, we should expect an uptick in commercial paper issuance from blue-chip companies taking advantage of current market sentiments. The blurry economic outlook may constrain IPO activities in the short-term for start-up firms seeking to raise long-term funding through the capital market.
“Opportunities for mergers and acquisitions are expected in the banking sector, healthcare, and fintech space; however, time to market becomes crucial given the uncertain economic climate.”
Adaobi Okonkwo, Head of Currency Trading at a Tier-1 Nigerian Bank.
“The US dollar in the last few weeks has been the major focus of all traders, with its index hitting a two and a half year low at 89.73. The general consensus of traders has been to short the dollar and invest in other safe-haven currencies including JPY. In the first quarter of 2021, the dollar is expected to remain the major driver of its pairs.
“Traders are also focusing on US stimulus negotiations; although, there are hitches with Republican Senate Majority leader, Mitch McConnell, yet to agree on a fresh round of COVID-19 aid package of about $900bn and President Donald Trump recently rejecting the stimulus bill.
“Any downsides for the dollar could be limited by the prospect of a fresh round of aid in the New Year as the new US administration of President-elect, Joe Biden, starts on January 20th.
“With the new strain of the coronavirus, there could be talks of the vaccine recently approved by the FDA being ineffective, thereby extending the losses in USD and further driving the uptick in its major pairs.”
Thelma Ugonna Ohiri-Anyanwu, CFA, Top Financial Expert of a Tier 1 Nigerian Bank.
“Inflation rate is expected to remain high, although the planned re-opening of the border and the upcoming harvest season may help ease food inflation in 2021. Rates regime are expected to remain low to encourage the recovery of the real sector, which would create great opportunities in the capital and alternative investment space. Also, to satisfy the requirements of the 2 loans secured by the government in 2021, I expect a further devaluation of the Naira to unify the official and NAFEX rates.
“Globally, with the uncertainty around the pandemic, Covid-19 vaccine and the need to distribute and preserve the vaccine; I expect increased investment and revenue for medical (especially pharmaceutical), logistics and refrigerator manufacturing companies.
“I also expect increased investment and acceptance of the Cryptocurrency world, with individuals and companies with technical know-how having an opportunity of higher earnings from training.
“Overall, the World Bank has forecasted that the Nigerian economy will marginally grow by 0.3% in 2021; So, I am hopeful that we will come out of the economic recession in 2021.”
Tomie Balogun, Millennial Investor and Founder of The Green Investment Club.
“The Federal Government secured two major loans this year; $3.4 billion emergency support loan from the IMF recently and a $1.5 billion package to help boost post-Covid-19 recovery. To satisfy the requirements of both loans, another devaluation of the Naira may take place in 2021, so that the official exchange rates and NAFEX rates can be unified. If this takes place, the CBN will only step in if large fluctuations of the exchange rates occur.
“Fuel prices are likely to be determined automatically based on market forces. The current VAT (7.5%) is likely to increase to generate additional revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria. A hike in VAT will put a strain on the disposable income of medium to low-income earners.
“Overall, the World Bank projected that the Nigerian economy is forecasted to grow at 0.3%. I believe this is optimistic as it took 5 consecutive quarters to grow out of an economic recession in 2016. This recession is different, because of the effects on small business owners. Small business owners make up over 80% of the businesses in Nigeria and any adverse effects on small businesses reverberate across the economy.
“As an investor, my approach would be to consider my investment portfolio carefully, diversify to preserve the value of my portfolio and hold cash to take advantage of investment opportunities. In an economic recession, cash is king.”
Darlington-Morsi Onyemaka, Co-founder, Quba Exchange.
“The prospects of a COVID-19 vaccine by 2021 makes it likely the year of global economic recovery. There has been a significant amount of positive news in the financial markets already and a lot more is expected.
“Airbnb and DoorDash’s IPOs this December, are pointers that things are coming back to normal already, with more companies expected to go public in 2021.
“The #EndSARS protest in Nigeria, however, has exposed the deficiencies in our political system. We saw government institutions hoarding and mismanaging palliatives that were supposed to mitigate the harsh conditions imposed by COVID-19 on the citizens.
“This has made Nigerians to question the efficiency of the expected vaccination process and until we see an effective process in place (not just public statements), the Nigerian markets will not express optimism for potential recovery and that on its own will negatively affect how quick we join the rest of the world on the journey to full economic recovery.”
Nigeria needs to enforce economic reforms now that will encourage the return of foreign portfolio investors, as a clearer forex policy is important in instilling market confidence amongst investors.
Also, the country needs to start investing in its most promising sectors such as the digital economy, as its major export earner starts to dwindle.
Finally, it is anticipated in many quarters that Nigeria’s apex bank will restore sanity to the foreign exchange market and money markets by ensuring the unification of Nigeria’s local currency to full effect.
FG receives N144 billion in dividends from NLNG in 2020
NLNG, paid the Federal Government a dividend of N188 billion in the fiscal year ended December 2020.
Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Company, NLNG, paid the Federal Government a dividend of N144 billion in the fiscal year ended December 2020.
This is according to the information contained in the Ministry of Finance Budget implementation report for the period of January 2020 to December 2020 and presented by the Minister for Finance Dr. Zainab Ahmed.
During the year, the Federal Government budgeted a sum of N80.3 billion as its share of dividends from NLNG, however, the actual sum received as its share was N144 billion, N63.2 billion more or 79% higher than projected.
The year 2020 was a difficult year for the government as the fall in crude oil prices and the economic shutdown that was triggered by the Covid-19 Pandemic dented projections and ravaged revenues.
NLNG Dividend Bliss
The dividend received from NLNG was a major bright spot in the government’s revenue performance for the year.
- During the year, the government projected revenue of N5.36 trillion but only received N3.9 trillion in revenues representing a shortfall of N1.4 trillion or 27% for the year.
- The huge dividend windfall received in 2020 is a stark contrast from 2017 when Nigeria just exited a recession triggered by falling oil prices and a sharp exchange rate devaluation.
- In that year, the Federal Government’s share of dividends from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dropped by as much as $687 million, from $1.04 billion in 2015 to $365 million in 2016, a 65% drop.
- The N144 billion received in 2020 topped the amount received from signature bonuses only N78.2 billion and complimented the N192 billion received by VAT.
- It is the most effective form of revenue generation for the government.
Back in July Nairametrics reported that the House of Representatives planned to investigate the alleged illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from the NLNG account by NNPC without its knowledge and appropriation.
- They had accused the NNPC of illegally tampering with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of 1.05 billion dollars thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.
- NLNG is a company jointly owned by Nigerian owned NNPC(49%), Shell (25.6%), Total (15%), and ENI (10.4%).
- The company is located in Bonny Island and has six trains with a total capacity to process 22 million tonnes of LNG a year and as much as 5 million tonnes of natural gas liquids.
- NLNG currently accounts for about 7% of the total LNG supply in the world. Nigeria is ranked as the 4th exporter of Natural Gas in the world.
Upshots: The FG is targeting a revenue of N208 billion from NLNG as dividends in 2021. If this materializes, it will be a significant payout in dividend (in naira terms) competing with the N238.4 billion expected from VAT.
- Important to note that the recent devaluation of the naira will increase the naira value of dividends and other government revenue, as it did in 2020.
- The government also targets N6.6 trillion in revenue for the period under review.
Updated: An earlier version of this article captured the dividend as N188 billion instead of N144 billion. It has now been corrected.
Prices of local rice, onions, tomatoes, others crash as foreign rice continues to ease off
This report contains information on items that witnessed price increase, price decrease, as well as information on special markets and insights.
It appears Nigerians are in for good times in the new year, as the price of bags of local and foreign rice, onions, pepper, tomatoes, amongst others recorded a significant drop in price.
This is according to the latest market survey, carried out by Nairalytics Research – the research arm of Nairametrics.
The survey revealed that the price of a 50kg bag of locally produced rice dipped by 6.4% from an average of N25,375 recorded in December to an average of N23,750 while a bag of foreign rice of the same size now sells for an average of N24,500 as against an initial average of N26,125.
Also, the price of a bag of dry onions dropped by 77.5% to sell for an average of N21,500 compared to an initial average of N95,500 while the price of new onions crashed by 74.6% to sell for an average of 16,500.
This report contains information on items that witnessed price increase, price decrease, as well as information on special markets and insights.
Items that witnessed price increase
- A big bag of melon that was sold for an average of N43,500 in December now sells for an average of N45,000. This represents an increase of 3.45% in three weeks.
- A nylon of crayfish now sells for an average of N14,250, representing an increase of 9.6% compared to an initial average of N13,000.
- The price of a big tuber of yam spiked by 31.2% to sell for an average of N1,000 as against an initial average of N763.
- Also, a medium-sized tuber of yam now sells for an average of N588, indicating an increase of 11.9% compared to an initial average of N525.
- A big basket of sweet potatoes that was sold for an initial average of N5,500, witnessed an increase of 9.1% to sell for an average of N6,000.
- The price of a small-sized basket increased by 3.6% to sell for an average of N727 from an initial average of N700.
- Also, a big basket of Irish potatoes now sells for an average of 25,000 as against an initial average of N20,000. This represents an increase of 25% in three weeks.
Items that witnessed price decrease
- A big basket of round shaped tomatoes that was sold for an average of N15,000 in December, now sells for an average of N6,500. This represents a price decrease of 56.7% in three weeks.
- Also, the price of a medium-sized basket of round shaped tomatoes reduced by 64.7% to sell for an average of N3,000 as against an initial average of N8,500.
- A big bag of pepper now sells for an average of N7,750. This is 61.3% lower than an average of N20,000 recorded in December while a medium-sized bag currently sells for an average of N3,750 as opposed to an initial average of N10,000.
- A 50kg bag of brown beans currently sells for an average of N30,000, representing a 27.7% decline in price compared to an initial average of N41,500.
- The price of a 10kg bag of Mama Gold rice dipped by 8.3% to sell for an average of N4,400 compared to an initial average of N4,800.
- Also, a 50kg bag of Royal Stallion rice that was initially sold for an average of N26,125 now sells for an average of N24,500 while Mama Gold rice of the same size sells for an average of N24,875 as against an initial average of 26,125.
- The price of a carton of full chicken recorded a marginal decrease of 0.29% to sell for an average of N14,125 compared to an initial average of N14,167.
- A big bag of Bush mango seeds (Ogbono) that was sold for an average of N115,000 during Christmas festivity, now sells for an average of N105,000. This represents a price decrease of 8.7%.
Items that maintained initial prices
- A crate of eggs continues to sell for an average of N1,200, the same as recorded in December.
- A big bag of yellow maize is still sold for an average of N20,167, while a bag of white maize costs an average of N20,000.
- A bag of yellow maize sells for an average of N23,333, the same as recorded in December, while white maize of the same size still sells for an average of N23,167.
- A 50kg bag of Honey well and Mama Gold flour sells for N13,950 and N13,850 respectively, while a bag of Dangote flour sells for an average of N13,750.
- Horse fish (Kote) and Titus fish still sell for an average of N613 and 638 respectively across markets in Lagos.
- A 50kg bag of garri (Ijebu) still sells for an average of N14,375, while white and yellow garri sell for an average of N10,750 and N11,125 respectively.
- Amongst the list of food items that maintained their initial prices include: noodles, beverages, cocoa drinks, sugar, water, and juice.
- A 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas is filled for an average of N3,975, while a 5kg cylinder is filled for an average of N1,750.
- Several customers were sighted at Mile-12 market negotiating and transacting with traders at different units of the market as the prices of most food items recorded a significant decline in price compared to the just-concluded year.
- In an interview with a tomato seller at Mushin market, Mr. Bala, explained that the decline in the price of tomatoes is due to seasonal fluctuations and increased supply of the food item.
- He stated that there has been a huge amount of harvest during this period, which has caused an increased supply of tomatoes coming from the north, and as a result driving the price of the commodity downwards. He however mentioned that oval-shaped tomatoes are not currently in the market, only round-shaped tomatoes were harvested and supplied to the market.
- The price of foreign rice has continued to witness a significant decrease in the past four weeks, largely due to the reopening of some land borders across the country. Also, the price of locally produced rice trickled down last week due to the new influx of foreign rice.
- According to our correspondent at Daleko market, Mrs. Oladayo, she explained that foreign-made rice is of two types for each of the brands, long and short. A 50kg of the long grain of rice sells for an average of N24,000 in the market, while the bag of short grains sells for an average of N24,000.
- Although, a 50kg bag of Big Bull rice sells for an of N24,000 some Nigerian made rice are now selling for as low as N18,000 and N17,000. She however warned that some of these brands are quite stony. For example, Zainab rice sells for an average of N17,000 at Daleko market.
- In an interactive session with an Onion seller at Mile-12 market, it was revealed that the reason for the significant nosedive in the price of onions was due to bountiful harvest towards the end of December.
- According to Muhammed, he said this is a period for onion harvest and it is only normal for the price to decline, although it seemed like a significant decline due to the irregular hike witnessed in the price of onions last year as a result of some string of events, such as insecurity, lack of harvest, etc.
- He further mentioned that the reduction in the price of onions is a very positive development for the year, considering the hardship experienced by many Nigerians during the past year.
- “We are happy that the price of onions and other food items have dropped in recent times and we hope it continues this way, because the lesser the price, the more customers are likely to buy,” He added.
- In a bid to understand the cause of the increase in the price of potatoes, Mr. Audu explained to Nairalytics that the price of potatoes increased due to the effect of seasonal fluctuations.
|Items||Brand||Unit||MUSHIN (7/1/2021)||DALEKO (7/1/2021)||OYINGBO (7/1/2021)||MILE 12 (7/1/2021)||Average||MUSHIN (17/12/2020)||DALEKO (17/12/2020)||OYINGBO (17/12/2020)||MILE 12 (17/12/2020)||Average|
|Bag of Rice||Mama Gold||10kg||4400||4200||4500||4500||4400||4600||4800||4800||5000||4800|
|Bag of Rice||Royal Stallion||50Kg||25000||24000||25000||24000||24500||26000||25500||26000||27000||26125|
|Bag of Rice||Rice Master||10kg||NA||4300||4300||5000||NA||4500||4750|
|Bag of Rice||Mama Gold||50kg||25000||24000||24500||26000||24875||26000||25500||26000||27000||26125|
|Bag of Rice||Caprice||50kg||25000||22000||24000||25000||24000||26000||25500||26000||27000||26125|
|Bag of Rice||Mama's Pride||50kg||23000||24000||24000||24000||23750||25500||25000||25000||26000||25375|
|Bag of Beans||Oloyin||50kg||20000||21000||20000||20333.333333333||20000||21000||21000||20000||20500|
|Bag of Beans||White||50kg||40000||45000||43000||42666.666666667||40000||43000||45000||43000||42750|
|Bag of Beans||Brown||50kg||32000||30000||30000||28000||30000||43000||38000||42000||43000||41500|
|Tuber of Yam||Abuja||1 Big Size Tuber||1000||900||1100||1000||1000||800||750||700||800||762.5|
|Tuber of Yam||Abuja||1 Medium Size Tuber||550||600||550||650||587.5||550||500||550||500||525|
|Carton of Noodles||Indomie||305g (Belle full)||3200||3250||3300||3300||3262.5||3200||3250||3300||3300||3262.5|
|Carton of Noodles||Indomie||200g (Hungry man)||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200|
|Carton of Noodles||Chikki||100g||2200||2200||2100||2300||2200||2200||2200||2100||2300||2200|
|Carton of Noodles||Minimie||70g||1900||1750||1700||1800||1787.5||1900||1750||1700||1800||1787.5|
|Carton of Noodles||Golden Penny||70g||1700||1500||1600||1600||1600||1700||1500||1600||1600||1600|
|Bag of Garri||Ijebu||80kg||14500||14000||14500||14500||14375||14500||14000||14500||14500||14375|
|Bag of Garri||White||50kg||10500||11000||11000||10500||10750||10500||11000||11000||10500||10750|
|Bag of Garri||Yellow||50kg||11000||11000||11500||11000||11125||11000||11000||11500||11000||11125|
|Basket of Potato||Sweet||Big Basket||6000||6000||5500||5500|
|Basket of Potato||Sweet||Small Basket||700||750||725||700||700||700|
|Basket of Potato||sweet||Smallest Basket||400||300||350||400||250||325|
|Basket of Potato||Irish||Biggest Basket||25000||25000||25000||20000||20000||20000|
|Basket of Potato||Irish||Medium Basket||2600||2600||2500||2500|
|Basket of Potato||Irish||Small Basket||1700||1600||1650||1700||1500||1600|
|Packet of Pasta||Golden Penny||500g||4400||4400||4300||4200||4325||4400||4400||4300||4200||4325|
|Packet of Pasta||Dangote||500g||4200||4300||4300||4300||4275||4200||4300||4300||4300||4275|
|Packet of Pasta||Power (1 pc)||500g||250||230||250||230||240||250||230||250||230||240|
|Packet of Pasta||Bonita (1 pc)||500g||220||230||230||220||225||220||230||230||220||225|
|Gallon of Palm Oil||Local||5 Litres||2700||2600||2800||2600||2675||2700||2600||2800||2600||2675|
|Gallon of Palm Oil||Local||25 Litres||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Local||5 Litres||3400||3400||3500||3400||3425||3400||3400||3500||3400||3425|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Local||25 Litres||16000||17000||17000||16500||16625||16000||17000||17000||16500||16625|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Kings||5 Litres||3200||3000||3000||2800||3000||3200||3000||3000||2800||3000|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Wesson||5 Litres||4500||3900||3900||4300||4150||4500||3900||3900||4300||4150|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Mamador||3.8 Litres||2500||2450||2500||2800||2562.5||2500||2450||2500||2800||2562.5|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Power||3 Litres||1900||1800||1800||2200||1925||1900||1800||1800||2200||1925|
|Bunch of Plaintain||Plantain||1 Big Bunch||500||600||500||600||550||500||600||500||600||550|
|Bag of Flour||Dangote||50kg||13600||13600||13800||14000||13750||13600||13600||13800||14000||13750|
|Bag of Flour||Honey well||50Kg||14000||13600||14000||14200||13950||14000||13600||14000||14200||13950|
|Bag of Flour||Mama Gold||50kg||13800||13600||14000||14000||13850||13800||13600||14000||14000||13850|
|Milk||Peak Powdered (Tin)||400g||1200||1300||1200||1250||1237.5||1200||1300||1200||1250||1237.5|
|Milk||Peak milk (Refill)||500g||1200||1100||1200||1200||1175||1200||1100||1200||1200||1175|
|Milk||Dano Powdered (Tin)||500g||1200||1200||1100||1200||1175||1200||1200||1100||1200||1175|
|Milk||Loya Powdered (Tin)||400g||1000||1100||1100||1050||1062.5||1000||1100||1100||1050||1062.5|
|Cocoa Beverages||Milo (Tin)||500g||1500||1450||1500||1450||1475||1500||1450||1500||1450||1475|
|Cocoa Beverages||Milo (Tin)||1kg||2500||2450||2400||2500||2462.5||2500||2450||2400||2500||2462.5|
|Cocoa Beverages||Milo Refill||500g||1100||1100||1000||1100||1075||1100||1100||1000||1100||1075|
|Cocoa Beverages||Bournvita Refill||500g||1300||1300||1200||1300||1275||1300||1300||1200||1300||1275|
|Cocoa Beverages||Bournvita (Plastic)||900g||2200||2200||2300||2200||2225||2200||2200||2300||2200||2225|
|Cocoa Beverages||Ovaltine Refill||500g||1000||900||1000||950||962.5||1000||900||1000||950||962.5|
|Tea||Lipton Yellow label||52g||300||290||300||300||297.5||300||290||300||300||297.5|
|Sugar||St' Louis Sugar(Cube)||500g||600||600||600||550||587.5||600||600||600||550||587.5|
|Sugar||Golden Penny Sugar (cube)||500g||400||350||400||400||387.5||400||350||400||400||387.5|
|Bottled Water (Refill)||Cway||Refill||600||650||600||600||612.5||600||650||600||600||612.5|
|Juice||5 Alive||1 litre||550||550||550||600||562.5||550||550||550||600||562.5|
|Tomatoes||Big Basket||round shaped||6500||6500||15000||15000|
|Tomatoes||Medium Basket||round shaped||3000||3000||8500||8500|
|Tomatoes||Small Basket||round shaped||2500||2500||5500||5500|
|Tomatoes||Big Basket||Oval Shaped||NA||10000||10000|
|Tomatoes||Small Basket||Oval Shaped||NA||6000||6000|
|Fish||Kote (Horse Mackerel)||1 kg||650||600||600||600||612.5||650||600||600||600||612.5|
|Fish||Titus (Mackerel)||1 kg||600||650||650||650||637.5||600||650||650||650||637.5|
|Onions||Big bag||Dry Onions||26000||17000||21500||94000||97000||95500|
|Onions||Big bag||New Onions||20000||13000||16500||65000||65000||65000|
|Bush mango seed||(Ogbono)||1 big bag||105000||105000||115000||115000|
|Frozen food||Full chicken||Carton||14000||14500||14000||14000||14125||14500||14000||14000||14166.666666667|
|Frozen food||Chicken lap||Carton||13500||14000||14000||14000||13875||14000||14000||14000||14000|
About Nairametrics Food Price Survey
Nairametrics Food Price Watch is a bi-weekly Household Market Survey that covers the prices of major food items in Nigeria, with emphasis on five major markets in Lagos – Mushin market, Daleko market, Oyingbo market, Idi-Oro market, and Mile 12 market.
FG borrows N2.8 trillion from CBN via Ways and Means
To fund the 2020 budget, FG borrowed N2.8 trillion from CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) backstopped a total of N2.8 trillion in support loans to the Federal Government in 2020. This follows the FG’s failure to meet its revenue targets due to the impact of the fall in oil prices and covid-19 pandemic.
The support came in the form of Ways and Means, a provision in the CBN act that allows the government to borrow from the Apex Bank. Provisions in the act cap monetary financing of fiscal deficits at 5% of the prior year’s revenues.
This information was made known by the Minister for Finance Zainab Ahmed during a public presentation of the 2021 FGN Approved Budget – Breakdown & Highlights which was done via Zoom, an online platform for virtual meetings.
According to the information contained in the report, the central bank provided financial support to the tune of N2.8 trillion which the government used to fund its budget expenditure. In the breakdown seen by Nairametrics, out of the 2020 budget deficit of N6.1 trillion, N2 trillion was sourced from domestic borrowing and another N1.2 trillion from foreign borrowing. The rest was via Ways and Means.
Breakdown of the data
In her presentation, the minister said out of the N5.3 trillion in budgeted revenue, only N3.9 trillion was generated as actual, resulting in a 27% revenue shortfall for the year.
- However, in terms of expenditure, while N9.97 trillion was appropriated, N10.08 trillion (representing 101%) was spent during the year.
- The shortfall in revenues and increased spending resulted in an actual deficit spending of N6.1 trillion as against N4.6 trillion budgeted during the year
- Nigeria also increased its debt service from N2.9 trillion to N3.2 trillion. Interest on Ways and Means totaling N912.5 billion contributed significantly to the cost.
The government’s Ways and Means financing was brought to public view in 2016 after the former CBN Government Sanusi Lamido Sanusi accused the government of contravening the CBN Act by borrowing more than the required 5% of prior year revenues. Nairametrics dimensioned this matter in a 2016 article.
- At N2.8 trillion, the CBN basically lent the government 52.8% of its current year revenues or 62.2% of 2019 revenues of N4.5 trillion.
- This appears to violate the CBN Act which states that the outstanding amount should not exceed 5% of prior years’ actual revenue.
- The provision also requires that the loans are repaid at the end of the year or else the CBN will no longer be able to lend to the government in the following year.
- It is unclear if the loans have been repaid or will be repaid prior to the implementation of the 2021 budget.
The year 2020 was an exceptional year globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic and expectedly impacted government revenues negatively due to the lockdown and the fall in oil prices. Without the central bank backstopping these loans, it might have been practically impossible for the government to fund its expenditure programs for 2020.