24 August 2015, Abuja – Energy companies in Nigeria owe commercial banks in the country N3.673 trillion, according to data produced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
This was in spite of several warnings by the CBN and other economic analysts, against the backdrop of declining fortune of crude oil in the international market.
CBN, in its Statistical Bulletin for the First Quarter of 2015, revealed that the aggregate credit to the energy sector as at March 2015 stood at N3.673 trillion, dropping by N182 billion from N3.855 trillion recorded in February 2015.
Giving a breakdown of the figures, the CBN stated that in the industrial segment, oil and gas firms’ aggregate credit stood at N2.153 trillion as at March 2015, compared to N2.3 trillion in February 2015 and N2.047 trillion as at December 2014. The oil and gas firms in this segment comprise downstream, natural gas and crude oil refining.
Aggregate credit of the power and energy sector, comprising Independent Power Project (IPP) and power generating companies, stood at N282.7 billion, compared to aggregate credit of N294.085 billion recorded in February 2015.
In the services segment, the CBN noted that the aggregate credit of upstream oil and gas services sector in the month of March stood at N1.073 trillion, down from N1.096 trillion, while power transmission and distribution companies’ aggregate credit stood at N163.93 billion, compared to N172.44 billion in February 2015.
Generally, the CBN stated that aggregate credit to the domestic economy (net) stood at N17.15 trillion in March, representing a decrease of N54.2 billion or 0.3 per cent below the level recorded a month earlier, but an increase of N716.5 billion or 4.4 per cent when compared with the level at end-December, 2014.
“Net claims on the central government stood at N3.455 trillion, representing an increase of N76.7 billion or 2.3 per cent above the level recorded in the preceding month. At N13.11 trillion, total credit to the private sector was N166.8 billion or 1.3 per cent below the level achieved in the preceding month,” the CBN stated.
Further analysis showed that oil and gas, manufacturing and mining and quarrying sub-sectors secured 47.5, 41.4 and 4.9 per cent of the credit to industry sector.
“Similarly, other sub-sectors under service sector, oil and gas, finance, insurance and capital market and real estate had 53.2, 18.7, 13.2 and 10.7 per cent of total credit to service sector,” the apex bank noted.
The CBN further noted that the total assets/liabilities of commercial banks in March 2015 (provisional) stood at N28.711 trillion, showing increases of N123.8 billion or 0.4 per cent and N1.185 trillion or 4.3 per cent above the levels recorded in February 2015 and at end-December 2014, respectively.
The CBN said: “Analysis of foreign exchange utilisation by sectors revealed that $8,428.05 million was spent on the importation of various items into the country in first quarter 2015, representing 59.5 per cent of the total foreign exchange disbursed during the period.”
“This represents a decrease of 6.4 per cent and 4.9 per cent when compared with the levels recorded in the preceding and corresponding quarters, respectively.”