Crude oil production in Nigeria dropped by 1.74 million barrels in September, figures from the just released oil market report of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) showed in a recent report.

In the OPEC report, dated October 13, the group outlined the crude oil production figures of its 13-member countries based on direct communication with the various nations.

OPEC said the country produced 1.37 million barrels of crude oil per day in August 2020, but the figure dropped to 1.31 million barrels per day in September.

This showed that the country’s oil production reduced by 58,000 barrels daily in September when compared to the production figure in the preceding month.

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It therefore implies that for the 30 days of September, Nigeria’s oil production fell by 1.74 million barrels, based on OPEC’s data.

On crude oil price movement, the report stated that spot crude prices settled significantly lower in September after four consecutive months of gains.

The OPEC Reference Basket fell by $3.65, or 8.1 per cent month-on-month to $41.54 per barrel, while the year-to-date averaged $40.62 per barrel.

Crude oil futures prices on both sides of the Atlantic declined during September, for the first time since April.

The managing director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mr Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, said the $2.5 billion is the investment required to provide access to the current 80 million Nigerians without electricity.

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“India used to be the country with the highest people without access to electricity but I am sad to say that Nigeria has overtaken it and recently the figure is at 80 million Nigerians without access to electricity,” Ahmad said.

While calling for an improved budget for REA to realize this, he said it is very risky to rely on government budget as that is not enough. “We need to device policies where we can get more private sector investments,” he said.

ICE Brent was down by seven per cent month-on-month, averaging at $41.87 per barrel, while NYMEX WTI dropped 6.5 per cent month-on-month, settling at $39.63 per barrel.

OPEC examined the Nigerian economy in its latest report, as it observed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (cut the monetary policy rate for the second time in 2020 by 100 basic points to 11.5 per cent during its September 2020 meeting, delivering the lowest borrowing costs since 2016.

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It stated, “The recent cut is a part of the policy to continue supporting the economy that plunged 6.1 per cent in the second quarter hit by the global pandemic.

“Nevertheless, Nigeria’s annual inflation rate surged to the highest rate since March 2018 in August 2020, as it rose to 13.22 per cent year-on-year from 12.82 per in July.”

It noted that the CBN stressed the urgent need for a combination of broad-based monetary and fiscal policy measures to curb the rise in inflation and the contraction in output growth.

OPEC further stated that in September, business confidence in Nigeria dropped to -17 points from 4.30 points in the previous month, as the Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI slumped to 52.5 in September of 2020 from 54.6 in the August.

By Chibisi Ohakah (with agency)

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