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Nigeria had N7.37tn foreign trade deficit in 2020 – NBS

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Nigeria had N7.37tn foreign trade deficit in 2020 - NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics on Monday, has disclosed, that Nigeria recorded N7.37tn foreign trade deficit in 2020.

The NBS disclosed this, in its ‘Foreign trade statistics report for fourth quarter of 2020’ that the total trade in 2020 stood at N32.42tn.

“The annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was recorded at N7.37tn,” the NBS stated.

The report read in part, “In the fourth quarter of 2020, Nigeria’s total merchandise trade stood at N9.12tn, representing 8.9 per cent over the level recorded in the third quarter of 2020 but was 9.9 percent lower when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

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“The value of trade in Q4 was the highest recorded over the past year.

“The export component of trade stood at N3.19tn, an increase of 6.7 per cent over the preceding quarter but a drop of 33 per cent over the previous year.

“Further, the share of exports in total trade declined to 35 per cent in Q4 2020 from 47 per cent a year earlier.

“On the other hand, total imports reached a record high at N5.92tn in Q4 2020, an increase of 10.1 per cent over the preceding quarter, and 10.8 per cent over the preceding year.

“Imports also accounted for 65 per cent of total trade in Q4 2020, compared to 53 per cent the previous year.

“As the value of imports nearly doubled the value of exports, the trade deficit rose to its highest level and a fifth consecutive quarterly deficit at N2.73tn, an increase of 14.30 per cent compared to the preceding quarter.”

The fourth quarter deficit recorded the highest figure since 2017.

According to the NBS, Nigeria’s trade deficit rose by 32.45 per cent from N1.8tn as of the end of second quarter to N2.38tn in the third quarter.

It added that on an annual basis, total trade was valued at N32.42tn in 2020, or 10.3 per cent less than the value recorded in 2019.

“The value of total imports in 2020 stood at N19.89tn, or 17.3 per cent higher than in 2019, while total export was valued at N12.52tn, or 34.8 per cent less than in 2019,” the NBS stated.

It added that the annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was N7.37tn.

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We’re not aware of currency printing – Finance ministry CBN

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We’re not aware of currency printing – Finance ministry CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria – CBN, has denied knowledge of claim that Nigeria printed billions of naira last month to cushion its financial trouble.

This came, after the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, alleged that Nigeria printed Sixty Billion Naira, N60bn to augment what the three tiers of government shared in March.

Obaseki reportedly stated on Thursday that Nigeria was in a huge financial trouble, alleging that the Federal Government printed N60bn in March as part of federal allocation last month.

The Edo governor also expressed worry over the country’s increased borrowing, saying it was wrong to continue borrowing without a tangible plan for debt repayment.

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When contacted to comment on the development, the spokesperson of CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, told one of our correspondents that he was not aware of any N60bn that was printed.

“I am not aware of that (N60bn printed by government,” he told our correspondent on Saturday.

Similarly, when contacted to speak on the N60bn that was allegedly printed in March 2021, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning said enquiries on the matter should be directed to the governor who made the allegation.

The media aide to the finance minister, Yunusa Abdullahi, said the Edo State governor or the CBN should be contacted.

“Please direct your questions to the governor who made the claim or the CBN,” he told our correspondent.

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NSE resumes from holidays with N78bn loss

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NSE resumes from holidays with N78bn loss

The Nigerian stock market resumed after the Easter public holidays on Tuesday with a loss of 0.39 per cent due to persistent bearish trend.

Specifically, the All-Share Index lost 150.13 points or 0.39 per cent to close 38,766.61 compared with 38,916.74 achieved on Thursday.

Also, the market capitalisation lost N78bn to close at N20.28tn from N20.361tn achieved before the break on Thursday.

The market loss was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are Guinness Nigeria, MRS Oil Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, BUA Cement and Aluminium Extrusion Industries.

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Market sentiment turned negative with 21 laggards, relative to 14 gainers.

MRS Oil led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.92 per cent to close at N10.90 per share.

Aluminium Extrusion Industries followed with a decline of 9.88 per cent to close at N7.30, while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance shed 9.38 per cent to close at 29k per share.

Sterling Bank shed 8.65 per cent to close at N1.69, while Guinness Nigeria depreciated by 8.08 per cent to close at N33 per share.

Conversely, Eterna dominated the gainers chart in percentage terms, gaining 9.91 per cent to close at N5.99 per share.

Linkage Assurance followed with 9.72 per cent to close at 79k and Royal Exchange rose by 9.09 per cent to close at 36k per share.

Japaul Gold and Ventures appreciated by 8.89 per cent to close at 49k, while FCMB Group gained 4.59 per cent to close at N2.96 per share.

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Also, the total volume of trades declined by 6.19 per cent with an exchange of 224.59 million valued at N2.14bn in 4,675 deals.

This was against 239.42 million shares worth N2.32bn exchanged in 4,445 deals on Thursday.

Transactions in the shares of UACN topped the activity chart with 34.05 million shares valued at N337.61m.

Access Bank followed with 26.35 million shares worth N214.93m, while FBN Holdings traded 18.93 million shares valued at N137.44m.

Zenith Bank traded 16.59 million shares worth N364.34m, while Fidelity Bank transacted 15.31 million shares valued at N39.15m

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PMS: we can’t continue to bear N120bn monthly subsidy – NNPC

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nnpc boss

The Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, Mele Kyari, says the corporation can no longer bear the over N120 billion monthly subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

This was disclosed, during the weekly media briefing organized by the Presidential Communication Team at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday.

According to the GMD, the actual cost of importation and handling charges amounts to N234 per litre, while the government is selling at N162 per litre.

He also stated that the NNPC absorbs the cost differential which is recorded in its financial books. Kyari, however, said that since NNPC could no longer bear the cost, sooner or later Nigerians would have to pay the actual cost for the commodity.

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According to the GMD, the NNPC pays between N100 billion and N120 billion a month to keep the pump price at the current levels. He said that market forces must be allowed to determine the pump price of petrol in the country.

“Our current consumption (evacuation) from our depots is about 60million litres per day. We are selling at N162 a litre. Current market price is 234, actual market price today.

“The difference between the two, multiply by 60million, times thirty, will give you per month.

“This is a simple calculation you do. If you want exact figures from our book, I do not have it from this moment but it’s between N100billion and N120billion per month.

We are putting the difference in the books of NNPC and we cannot continue to bear,’’ he said.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who also spoke at the event, expressed the hope that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be passed into law in April.

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According to him, efforts are being made by the legislators to complete work on the bill and pass it, in line with the aspirations of critical stakeholders in the petroleum sector.

“The National Assembly has expressed the intent to pass the PIB into law by April 2021, every effort is being made to support the National Assembly to meet this target,” he said.

While enumerating the gains of the PIB to Nigerians, the minister said it would create additional infrastructure across petroleum value chain. He added that it would increase petroleum activities as well as enhance the livelihood of inhabitants of oil producing communities.

He said the bill would create additional infrastructure across the petroleum value chain especially from mid-stream and down-stream. He added that critical infrastructure would also be developed, while utilising the incremental revenue from increased petroleum activities.

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Sylva said it would also provide additional infrastructure in the host communities arising from the host community trust. The minister further stated that more businesses would be set up to support increased activities within the petroleum value chain.

“Greater confidence would be engendered with certainty in the petroleum industry, which will lead to increased investments.

“Nigeria will occupy its place among commits of nations who have updated their petroleum industry laws in line with current realities.

“The bill will also enable a structured monetisation of fossil fuel resources before the whole world turns to renewables.

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