28 July 2015, Abuja – Nigeria’s crude oil and gas exports dipped by $5.66 billion, about N1.13 trillion to $13.3 billion in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The CBN, in its External Sector Development Report for the first quarter of 2015, stated that crude oil and gas exports component declined from $18.96 billion and $20.85 billion in the fourth and first quarter of 2014 respectively to $13.30 billion.
The drop, notwithstanding, the CBN disclosed that crude oil and gas export accounted for 92.9 per cent of aggregate exports in the review period. The CBN further said that total external trade depreciated by 17.1 per cent from its fourth quarter 2014 figure to $26.74 billion in the first quarter of 2015.
The report blamed the dip in the value of external trade on the decline in crude oil receipts occasioned by fall in oil prices at the international market from an average of $70.00 per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2014 to $54.50 in the first quarter 2015. The CBN said: “Crude oil and gas exports component declined from $18.96 billion and $20.85 billion in fourth quarter 2014 and first quarter 2014 respectively to $13.30 billion and accounted for 92.9 per cent of aggregate exports in the review period.
“Non-oil exports which recorded $1.02 billion rose marginally by 2.0 per cent but declined by 8.9 per cent, respectively, when compared with the levels recorded in the preceding and corresponding quarters in 2014.
“Oil sector imports declined by 38.1 and 24.4 per cent while non-oil component declined by 12.9 and 3.8 per cent, respectively when compared with fourth quarter 2014 and first quarter 2014. Non-oil imports remained dominant, accounting for 83.7 per cent of total, while oil sector imports accounted for the balance.”
Also, the country spent $2.021 billion, about N404.2 billion, on the importation of crude oil and gas in the quarter under review, dropping by 38.31 per cent from $3.276 billion, about N655.2 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The report further said that foreign investment inflow into the Nigerian oil and gas sector rose sharply from $46,459 in the fourth quarter of 2014 to $9.47 million, about N1.89 billion in the first quarter of 2015. Also, foreign capital inflow into the drilling sector rose slightly by 0.43 per cent from $1.004 million recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014 to $1.01 million in the first quarter of 2015.
The CBN said, “The inflow of fresh capital into the economy totaled $2.67 billion in first quarter 2015, representing declines of 40.5 and 31.6 per cent in comparison with the level in the preceding and corresponding quarters in 2014. “A disaggregation of capital imported to the various economic sectors revealed that the fresh capital was mainly channeled to purchase of quoted equities from the capital market which amounted to $1.28 billion and accounted for 47.9 per cent of the total in first quarter 2015.
“Capital inflows into the financing, telecommunications, and production and manufacturing sectors accounted for 28.6, 12.8 and 4.4 per cent, respectively, while other sectors accounted for the balance.”
*Michael Eboh – Vanguard