CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
By Obinna Chima
The value of Nigeria’s trade rose by 67 per cent in the first quarter of this year to N6.3 trillion ($41 billion), from N4.2 trillion in the comparable period of last year.
Bloomberg Thursday, quoted a report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the proceeds from crude oil exports accounted for more than a third of the total trade figure.
The NBS report also showed that the value of crude oil exports during the period rose 46 per cent to N2.4 trillion, while non-oil shipments also increased 24 per cent to N795 billion.
Nigeria depends on oil exports for more than 80 per cent of government revenue and 95 percent of foreign-exchange income.
The country’s average daily oil production was 2.51 million barrels in the first quarter of this year, compared with 2.39 million a year earlier.
It also revealed that petroleum exports to the United States of America were worth N1.16 trillion. Nigeria is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.
In another development, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck J. Rewane, has predicted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), will likely adopt a more tentative approach and slow down with its monetary tightening policy until the fourth quarter, following the attainment of single-digit inflation rate.
Inflation had slowed to 9.4 per cent in July, from 10.2 per cent in June. The figure was the lowest in the last three years.
Rewane stated in a report titled: “Inflation Declines to 9.4 per cent (Freakanomics or Voodoonomics?),” that the question being raised in the market was whether the apex bank will continue with its aggressive tightening of interest rates as well the fate of the Naira in the foreign exchange market.
“The Naira pressure will continue and force the CBN to hike interest rates again in September/October. We believe that inflation will spike when the money supply effect begins to kick in. Therefore the months of August and September will be policy tentative before another round of tightening.
“In Nigeria, the public has not yet questioned the inflation figures, but it is necessary that integrity of official data is a major objective of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s team. She knows too well coming from the World Bank environment that garbage in, garbage out. This is because once people start raising eyebrows about inflation data in Nigeria, the credibility of the policy makers will be questioned with serious consequences,”