By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The sum of N13.08 trillion (approximately N13.1 trillion) has been approved for the 2021 fiscal year by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The approval was given at the virtual weekly FEC meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday and presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, with his vice, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, in attendance and some Ministers.
This amount is more than the earlier aggregate expenditure of N12.66 trillion estimated for next year in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) published by the budget office.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, while briefing newsmen after the meeting today, said the budget has about 29 per cent of it earmarked for capital expenditure (CAPEX).
According to her, next year, the council said the sum of N2.083 trillion should be used to execute the various projects spread across the country.
Mrs Ahmed stated that the projects would run on N4.48 trillion deficit, while the revenue target in the financial year is expected to be N7.9 trillion.
She further said the government expects a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3 per cent in the year and an inflation rate of 11.95 per cent.
A few weeks ago, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the inflation rate in the month of August 2020 increased by 13.22 per cent from 12.82 per cent in July 2020.
During her briefing with journalists today, the Finance Minister stated that next year, the Naira to US Dollar exchange rate is pegged at N379/$1.
In addition, according to her, the crude oil benchmark is at $40 per barrel, while the volume of oil production is expected to be 1.86 million barrels per day, inclusive of 400,000 barrels per day of condensate.
Nigeria and other members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies led by Russia known as OPEC+ agreed to an output cut deal in April 2020 so as to stabilise the price of the commodity at the global market when it was steeping at the beginning of the year to less than $20 per barrel.
In the past, Nigeria was allowed to produce over 2 million barrels of crude oil per day, but because of the deal, the country, which depends on oil for most of its revenue, was allowed to produce about 1.7 million barrels per day from May to July and from August till December 2020, it will produce about 1.4 million barrels per day, excluding condensate.
The 2021 budget is expected to be submitted to a joint session of the National Assembly next week by Mr Buhari.
Stakeholders Pledge Quality Market for Locally Produced Onion Species
By Adedapo Adesanya
National Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN) has pledged to stimulate quality production and profitable market for all the commodity stakeholders in West Africa.
This was disclosed by the President of the association, Mr Aliyu Maitasamu in Abuja, who further said the group was ready to build members’ capacities in good agronomic practices for onion production and good strategies for commercialisation.
Mr Maitasamu said that the onion species produced in the country was one of the best in the world because of its strong pungency, adding that it is exported to many countries including France, Japan, India, Niger Republic, Ghana and others.
He said as part of efforts to bring stakeholders together in West Africa to further harness the potential of the onion business, the association plans a regional conference on the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on onions in November.
Mr Maitasamu said that the regional conference and their General Annual Meeting 2021 will hold on November 3 and 4, in Kano State, urging interested participants to register through https://noppman.org.
He said the theme of the conference is The Onion Sector in the Era of the African Free Trade Area and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities.
Mr Maitasamu added that the conference is a collaborative effort of the Regional Observatory for Onion Sector in West and Central Africa (ROO-WCA), explaining that the overall objective is to re-structure efficiently the onion sector in the region in order to ensure a better exchange of onion between areas of production and consumption.
“More specifically, ROO/WCA is targeting to build an integrated, strong and effective onion value-chain that will be able to ensure and stimulate a quality production and profitable market for all the commodity stakeholders.
“The ROO-WCA mission expands also into reinforcing institutional capacities of professional organizations, with the objective to ensure smooth exchange between partners by collection.
“And dispersal of commercial information relevant for decision-makers in production, purchases and sales.
“This will ensure permanent contact between members by organising periodic meetings, for a better use of business opportunities and judicious sharing of information and experience,” he said.
Crude Prices to Average $74 Per Barrel in 2022—World Bank
By Adedapo Adesanya
The World Bank in its latest Commodity Markets Outlook says crude prices will average $74 per barrel next year.
Crude oil prices (an average of Brent, WTI and Dubai) are expected to average $70 in 2021, an increase of 70 per cent and are projected to be $74 a barrel in 2022 as oil demand strengthens and reaches pre-pandemic levels.
The use of crude oil as a substitute for natural gas presents a major upside risk to the demand outlook, although higher energy prices may start to weigh on global growth.
This is happening as energy prices soared in the third quarter of 2021 and are expected to remain elevated in 2022.
The Bretton Wood institution said that the rise is adding to global inflationary pressures and could shift economic growth to energy-exporting countries from energy-importing ones.
The report said that energy prices—expected to average more than 80 per cent higher in 2021 compared to last year—will remain at high levels in 2022 but will start to decline in the second half of the year as supply constraints ease.
Non-energy prices, including agriculture and metals, are projected to decrease in 2022, following strong gains this year.
“The surge in energy prices poses significant near-term risks to global inflation and, if sustained, could also weigh on growth in energy-importing countries,” said Mr Ayhan Kose, Chief Economist and Director of the World Bank’s Prospects Group, which produces the Outlook report.
“The sharp rebound in commodity prices is turning out to be more pronounced than previously projected. Recent volatility in prices may complicate policy choices as countries recover from last year’s global recession,” he added.
In 2021, some commodity prices rose to or exceeded levels not seen since the spike of 2011.
For example, natural gas and coal prices reached record highs amid supply constraints and rebounding demand for electricity, although they are expected to decline in 2022 as demand eases and supply improves.
However, additional price spikes may occur in the near term amid very low inventories and persistent supply bottlenecks.
As global growth softens and supply disruptions are resolved, metal prices are forecast to fall 5 per cent in 2022, after rising by an estimated 48 per cent in 2021.
Following a projected 22 per cent increase in 2021, agricultural prices are expected to decline modestly next year as supply conditions improve and energy prices stabilize.
“High natural gas and coal prices are impacting the production of other commodities and pose an upside risk to price forecasts,” said Mr John Baffes, Senior Economist in the World Bank’s Prospects Group.
“Fertilizer production has been curtailed by higher natural gas and coal prices, and higher fertilizer prices have been pushing up input costs for key food crops. The production of some metals such as aluminium and zinc has been reduced due to high energy costs as well.”
The institution then called on countries to benefit from accelerating the installation of renewable energy and reducing their dependency on fossil fuels.
The report notes that forecasts are subject to substantial risks—including adverse weather, the uneven COVID-19 recovery, the threat of more outbreaks, supply-chain disruptions, and environmental policies.
Furthermore, higher food prices, along with the recent spike in energy costs, are pushing food-price inflation up and raising food-security concerns in several developing economies, it warned.
NGX Index Grows 1.10% as MTN, Airtel, Nestle Witness Cross Deals
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited finished strong on Thursday as it appreciated by 1.10 per cent on the back of sustained bargain hunting by investors.
Consequently, the All-Share Index (ASI) went up by 454.40 points to 41,704.11 points from 41,249.71 points, while the market capitalisation rose by N238 billion to N21.764 trillion from N21.526 trillion it finished on Wednesday.
Business Post reports that the activity chart was weak yesterday as a total of 216.2 million shares worth N3.4 billion were traded in 4,272 deals as against the 499.5 million shares worth N5.1 billion transacted in 5,998 deals a day earlier.
This indicated that the volume of shares bought and sold at the session depreciated by 56.72 per cent, the value of the stocks went down by 33.43 per cent and the number of deals fell by 28.78 per cent.
Like in the previous trading day, FBN Holdings was the most traded stock with the sale of 51.9 million units valued at N628.3 million as Ecobank traded 20.0 million units worth N143.7 million.
Transcorp exchanged 14.7 million equities valued at N15.0 million, Access Bank transacted 13.0 million stocks worth N124.2 million, while Fidelity Bank sold 12.5 million shares for N34.2 million.
It was observed that on Thursday, three cross deals were recorded with MTN opening the market with the exchange of about 2 million units of its stocks at N172.00 each, while Airtel Africa witnessed the transfer of over 900,000 units at N770.00 each, with about 100,000 units of Nestle Nigeria’s shares crossed at N1,405.00 each.
A cross deal is the practice of the exchange of stocks between a buyer and a seller through a broker at an agreed price on the exchange.
A total of 23 equities were on the gainers’ chart yesterday with Cutix leading after its value went higher by the maximum rise of 10.00 per cent to settle at N5.50.
NGX Group rose by 9.79 per cent to N23.55, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance grew by 9.09 per cent to 60 kobo, Nigerian Breweries appreciated by 7.41 per cent to N51.45, while BUA Cement gained 6.12 per cent to sell for N72.00.
Conversely, 19 stocks finished on the losers’ log led by the Initiates, which fell by 8.51 per cent to trade at 43 kobo, followed by Neimeth, which lost 4.86 per cent to quote at N1.76.
Furthermore, Universal Insurance depreciated by 4.76 per cent to close at 20 kobo, NAHCO depleted by 3.61 per cent to N3.47, while Unity Bank went down by 3.51 per cent to 55 kobo.
In terms of the performance of the sectors, the energy space was down by 0.36 per cent while the industrial goods, insurance, consumer goods and banking counters appreciated by 2.16 per cent, 1.56 per cent, 1.45 per cent and 0.17 per cent respectively.
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