As oil price rises to $60.44 per barrel
By Udeme Akpan
NIGERIA’s excess oil revenue has risen to N11.1 billion ($36.6 million) daily as the price of crude oil hits $60.44 per barrel in the international market.
The nation’s N7.4 trillion 2017 budget was based on $44.50 per barrel reference price and oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day.
But the price hit the roofs at $60.44 per barrel, yesterday, as a result of increased compliance to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, oil cut, thus enabling the nation to generate $36.6 million from the export of 2.3 million bpd to the global market. This amounts to N11.1 billion at the official exchange rate of N305 to the United States dollar.
The survey of the international oil market by Vanguard yesterday, showed that the price of Brent stood at $60.44 per barrel. The price of WTI stood at $53.90 per barrel, while the price of OPEC basket of 14 crudes, including Nigeria’s Bonny Light, stood at $56.45 per barrel.
From all indications, the nation’s excess oil revenue would continue to rise in the coming weeks as OPEC and others remain committed to oil cut deal.
Dr. Mohammed Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, said: ‘’Through extensive and well-coordinated consultations, enormous commitment, great diligence, necessary flexibility and strategic compromises, 24 participating OPEC and non-OPEC producing nations agreed on the landmark ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ at the end of last year, whereby they decided to adjust production by approximately 1.8 mb/d, for a period of six months, beginning January 1. This has since been extended by a further period of nine months, to the end of March 2018.”
Apparently as a result of low oil price, President Muhammadu Buhari had before now, forwarded a request to the National Assembly to approve external borrowing plan of $29.960 billion to execute key infrastructure projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.
But in a telephone interview with Vanguard, Mr. Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, advised the government to reduce borrowing, following its increased oil earnings.
‘’The government should reduce external borrowing and invest its oil revenue in developing infrastructure in order to stimulate the development of all sectors of the nation’s economy.
‘’We also need to practically work towards the diversification of the nation’s economy because we cannot continue to depend on oil.”
Last month, the Federation Account Allocation Committee distributed N473,8 billion to the three tiers of government as revenue from the sale of crude oil in the month of October.
Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, said gross revenue of N400.3 billion was realised, against the preceding month’s N322 billion by a margin of N78.3 billion.
Adeosun noted that the nation’s Excess Crude Account remains unchanged at N2.3 billion.