Nigeria Still Unable To Benefit From High Global Oil Prices

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Nigeria’s debt has exceeded its revenue in the first four months of the year despite high oil prices. Unlike other oil producers, a recent report from Nigeria’s Budget shows that Nigeria has found it impossible to reap the benefits of today’s high oil prices, with oil revenues coming in 61% below target during the period.

The report pasted on the Budget website reveals that this position of Nigeria is despite the fact that oil has ben trading at highs not seen in years.

Nigeria’s oil production was relatively steady at 1.376 million bpd in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter, according to OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report, and 34,000bpd below the same quarter last year.

While Nigeria’s production slipped further in June 2022 to 1.238 million bpd, Nigeria’s oil revenue problem didn’t stem from a drop in production.

Instead, Nigeria continues to battle oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and most critically, high gasoline prices, which the country subsidizes. The severe revenue shortfall does not allow Nigeria to service its debt.

The cost of Nigeria’s gasoline subsidy will be about 10 times what it had originally budgeted, Nigeria’s revealed in an April letter to the National Assembly.

Unlike other major oil producers that have benefited handsomely from higher oil prices, Nigeria is noted with negligible refining capacity, forcing it to import nearly all of the it needs.

And Nigeria must pay today’s high costs for that gasoline while continuing to sell it onto the consumer for much less in order to keep prices at 39 cents, Oilprice said in a report, adding that the value of Nigeria’s petroleum imports far outweighs the value of its petroleum exports – to the tune of $43 billion.

Nigeria has on many occasions toyed with the idea of ending the gasoline subsidies, but the specter of fuel protests caused the to scrap those plans.

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