Rainy Day



How does one save when the funds available to him/her are barely enough to help eke out a living? The question beggars simple logic but for the sake of another day and continuity something has to be done. This scenario appears similar to what Nigeria is going through at this particular moment. For years, top technocrats in government positions have called for the setting aside of some revenue from the proceeds of crude oil, a move which rubbed sitting governors the wrong way and led to the CEOs of States going to court to stridently demand for the sharing of stashed oil revenue from the central government. Some of the allocations ended in private pockets rather than in the common till.

However, another golden opportunity is here. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recently agreed to the first oil production cut in eight years, leading to a price rally that saw oil prices hitting a one-month high of $50 per barrel, which is way above the 2016 benchmark price of $38. The latest price surge has sparked excitement in Nigeria, with the extra revenue expected to help rescue the country from the clutches of recession.

Likewise the increasing demand for agricultural exports from Nigeria to other African nations and beyond is bringing in foreign revenue into the economy and giving it a boost. The Treasury Single Account (TSA) has also helped to streamline revenue proceeds. Although the backlog of unpaid salaries and allocations for capital projects are hidden mines, Nigeria may just have a little extra to save for the rainy day from all these revenue sources. In light of potential opposition from cash-starved governors, is this truly possible? Just wondering…

– Abimbola Akosile