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What the Recent Oil Disruption Means for Nigeria



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By Lukman Otunuga, senior,Research Analyst,FXTM

The unprecedented Oil disruption in Saudi Arabia in September shocked the markets and triggered multiple financial reactions for investors across the globe.

Oil prices exploded 20 percent higher on Monday September 16 after attacks on Saudi Oil fields caused disruptions of 5.7 million barrels per day, roughly five percent of global Oil supplies. Oil later gave back gains after Saudi Arabia pledged that Oil production would be up and running by the end of September.

However, there are doubts that the damage – which is thought to run into the hundreds of millions of Dollars – will be fixed so quickly.

Dynamic influencing Oil market swing back and forth

The uncertainty is also disrupting Oil prices, which spike intermittently before calming on data like the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report about a 2.4 million barrel build in Crude oil inventories on September 25.

On top of that, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East add more concerns for the short-term future of Oil markets.

Going forward, Oil prices are expected to be more sensitive to negative supply shocks, at least in the short term. If the serious tensions between Iran and the US escalate, Oil prices may be supported with a degree of upside potential.

OPEC continues with its quest to stabilize markets

Another factor to consider is OPEC’s reaction and possible change of mind over its supply cut policy. As recently as September 12, OPEC persuaded Nigeria to join supply cuts to prevent a global glut from drastically undercutting prices and Oil revenues for Oil-producing countries. The supply-side circumstances have changed considerably since then.

Recent reports have revealed that OPEC’s oil output fell to an eight-year low in September, pumping 28.9 million barrels per day (bpd) which was down 750,000 bpd from August’s revised figure and lowest monthly total since 2011.

Should Saudi Arabia experience more attacks or take longer than expected to restore normal Oil production from the damaged facilities, OPEC may need to reconsider supply cuts and increase production so its members can meet global supply demand.

At the time of writing, Nigeria’s Light Sweet Crude Oil Kwa Ibo and Bonny Light are trading at their normal level of $3 above the Brent Crude benchmark because Saudi Arabia has pledged to be back to normal light Crude oil production levels by the end of September. In the meantime, Saudi Arabia has restored output to 11.3 million barrels per day but is relying on sales of heavy Crude oil. Should Saudi Arabia disappoint the market’s expectations, light sweet Crude oil prices may change in Nigeria’s favour.

Overall, given how Oil sales account for roughly 70 percent of government revenues and 90 percent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, if the recent disruption results in a net rise in Oil prices, it could offer short-term support to the nation.

Impact on Nigeria’s economic growth

As an emerging market energy exporter, the prospects of rising Oil prices should feed back into Nigeria’s economic growth. Higher Oil prices would boost the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, promote foreign exchange stability and boost government spending in economic infrastructure which in turn would be positive for growth.

On the other hand, Nigeria’s fiscal and monetary policy makers must always be on the lookout for inflationary pressures. In August, inflation in Nigeria fell to 11.02 percent, a 43-month low. But higher Oil prices may squeeze company and consumer transportation budgets, re-igniting inflation.

Higher Oil price could hit consumer spending

The flip side of higher Oil prices is the risk of rising inflation. This would likely drag on consumer spending and complicate central bank efforts to ease monetary policy, which may end up pressuring economic growth.

On a larger scale, the threat of a global recession lurks around the corner. Rising Oil prices could also threaten global growth with higher running costs.

While Nigeria and energy producers would welcome higher Oil prices, everyone will lose if unaffordable costs tip the global economy into recession.

Diversification remains the cure to Nigeria’s oil dependence

In September, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) left interest rates unchanged at 13.5 percent. Movements in the Oil markets have a direct impact on CBN’s rate decisions, so I am closely watching developments in this area. Especially when considering how the CBN Governor wants inflation to slow to 9% or less before he considers cutting interest rates further.

Long term, for Nigeria to reduce exposure to Oil volatility, the quest for diversification needs to build momentum. Nigeria could source growth from non-Oil sectors like Agriculture and Services.

In conclusion, until diversification reduces Nigeria’s dependence on Oil revenues, the economy remains vulnerable to Oil price volatility and an uneven demand-supply equation.

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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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FG Mulls Renewable Energy for Improved Power Supply



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Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, minister of Science and Technology, has said that the federal government plans to diversify the country’s energy supply sources to include renewable energy towards accelerating socio-economic development.

FG Mulls Renewable Energy for Improved Power Supply

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, minister of Science and Technology

Onu stated this when he declared open the forum on ‘Scaling-up interconnected mini-grids development in Nigeria’, ‎organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP-GEF) and the Energy Commission of Nigeria, in Abuja.

He said that renewable energy will help the nation meet its electricity needs in a functional and sustainable manner, adding that it will also improve the quality of life in the country.

‎“Nigeria is endowed with substantial energy resources such as coal, crude oil and natural gas; renewables such as hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, waves and tides, as well as biomass.

‎‎“The challenge before us, has always been on how to efficiently transform these resources into adequate and reliable energy for national development using our enormous capacity in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship”, he said.

The minister explained that since the inception of the present administration in 2015, electronic power generation capacity had increased at an annual rate of about 390 megawatts per year.

He, however, said that while this is commendable, it could not adequately meet the needs of the country’s population and sustain the desired level of economic development.

Onu further observed that Nigeria’s desire to industrialise cannot be realised without adequate power supply.

He stressed that every effort must be made to ensure that homes, offices, factories, schools, hospitals and laboratories in the country have adequate, reliable and affordable electricity supply.

“Renewable energy could meet Nigeria’s energy needs in the area of job creation and improved standard of living in rural areas,” he said.

He added that the development of solar photo-voltaic (Pv) in the country triggered by increase in demand for rural water supply, lighting, health services and micro-enterprise needs to be regulated to stimulate private sector participation.

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ROAM Africa Reports Over 2,400 Candidates Applying for One Role as Jobs Stiffens



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ROAM Africa (Ringier One Africa Media), the leading digital classifieds group in Sub-Saharan Africa, has released figures that highlight the current state of the jobs market in Africa, with one standard role attracting 2,417 applications.

Analysing 69,511 jobs listings from January 2019 to August 2020 across 5 African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), ROAM Africa’s data sheds more light on the challenges facing both job seekers and employers in the African jobs market.

The standard job listing that attracted 2,417 applications was for a Receptionist/Admin Assistant in Kenya while another listing for call centre agents and team leaders attracted 2,283 applicants.

Similar is observed also for other markets: In Ghana, 2,299 people applied for an Administrative Assistant role and 2,265 people in Tanzania applied for a Sales Representative role.

In Nigeria, the highest number of applications for a single role was 2,095 and it was for a Sales Representative role.

According to ROAM Africa’s data, Kenya contributed the highest amount of new job listings in 2019 with 33%. Nigeria was in second place with 31% and Uganda was in third place with 17%. However, so far in 2020, Nigeria is leading the way with 40% of new job listings, with Kenya in second place with 28% and Uganda in third place with 13%.

A closer look at ROAM Africa’s data reveals that, apart from Nigeria, there was a drop in overall job listings across all job levels during the last months.

However, there was an increase in graduate trainee and ‘no experience’ roles in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana from May to July 2020, which offers some hope for new entrants into the jobs market.

Interestingly, recruitment agencies contributed the most roles, with 16% of overall jobs, closely followed by IT and Telecoms with 15% and Advertising media and communications with 12%.

Some candidates have also reported applying for more than 20 jobs a day for multiple months and only getting to the interview stage on a handful of occasions. This is why ROAM Africa’s jobs platforms Jobberman (Ghana and Nigeria) and BrighterMonday (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) are focused on matching technology.

The company’s technology helps employers to identify and score the right candidates faster. Suitable candidates are made visible to prospective employers, and helped across the finish line by providing data driven career development tools and training programmes.

Job seekers using the platforms can expect to improve their CV, gain interview tips and sign-up for online training courses designed to bridge the gap between education and employment.

Commenting on the data, Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM Africa said, “The high ratio of applications per job listing really highlights how challenging the jobs market is for employers and job seekers.  Both employers and job seekers are struggling to connect with the right opportunities and more needs to be done to address this.

“Employers must rethink their hiring strategies and clearly define what they are looking for, based on data and insights. Job seekers must also invest in personal development that will make it easier for them to stand out in such a crowded and competitive market.”

Weitz also added that, “We believe that Africa’s greatest asset is its people and their entrepreneurial spirit. With the expected growth in the continent’s population, we must begin to put structures in place that will make it easier for African businesses to make the most of this resource.”

According to Hilda Kragha, Managing Director of ROAM Africa’s Jobs platforms, “With the current state of the jobs market, Africans cannot afford to continue with the antiquated recruitment processes that are commonplace in many organisations.

We must prioritise a digital approach to recruitment, which brings transparency to Africa’s labour market while connecting people to work opportunities that will improve their livelihood.

We must also embrace objectivity in the recruitment process by incorporating innovation that makes it easier to fairly and consistently sort for the best candidates. This will ensure that only qualified candidates are applying for roles and employers get an accurate picture of jobseekers’ capabilities. A win-win for both job seekers and employers.”

“Our data highlights both the challenge and opportunity that come with the African jobs market. We must address the challenge of rampant unemployment but also embrace the opportunity to transform how recruitment is done. By doing this, we will not only be addressing the current problems but also future-proofing our businesses and organizations for generations to come.”

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FG Offers to Support TStv to Relaunch with Pay per View Model



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National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has pledged to give necessary support to TStv Africa as the indigenous digital satellite TV service begins full operation with pay per view model on October 1, 2020.

FG Offers to Support TStv to Relaunch with Pay per View Model

Professor Armstrong Idachaba, acting director-general of NBC, made the promise on Monday in Abuja when the management team of TStv paid him an official visit.

The visit was to inform him of the company‘s readiness to commence full operation across the country on October 1.

TStv Africa is a wholly-owned Nigerian innovative multi-channel outfit which had promised to operate a pay per view model for the benefit of Nigerians.

Idachaba said: “We promise on our side that we will continue to support you.

“At this time, I think that the major issue confronting the PayTv sector is the area of giving Nigerians option of deregulating purchasing capacity in terms of pay as you go concept.

“We believe this will give you the visibility if you remain committed to the idea.

“We welcome that option and wish that it serves as a stimulant and as a progressive index for other pay-TV operators to adopt.

“Some of them have come up with a lot of excuses why pay per view is difficult and why it is not doable.

“We want you to be the galvaniser to prove the naysayers wrong that this is doable in the interest of Nigerians.

“Once you begin and you make a success of it through increased subscription base, we are sure that others will be drawn into it as it happened in the telecommunication sector.”

Idachaba said the NBC is committed to promoting local participation in the nation’s broadcasting industry, especially in the pay-TV sector, to create jobs and provide diversity for Nigerians.

He acknowledged the challenges TStv had faced over the years and encouraged the company to remain focused.

“We are aware that it has been very challenging for you.

“All over the world dominant players will always want to remain in a dominant position.

” Those who want to survive will also have to take the courage to do so,” he said.

The Acting Director-General, however, admonished the firm to refrain from any activity that would give Nigeria a bad name.

“If you are acquiring rights, you must make sure that your rights are legitimately acquired.

“You must make sure you follow the rules of engagement strictly, study the broadcasting code strictly to have a robust future ahead of you,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Echefu Bright, managing director and CEO of TStv, said they were at the NBC to seek the commission’s support to have a peaceful roll out on October 1.

He said the outfit also visited the NBC to officially present samples of its decoders to the commission and thank the management for its support.

Bright gave an assurance that the novel pay per view concept was sacrosanct.

“The model is what we have experimented and implemented and it works and we have done everything we need to do for it Nigerians to benefit.

“Beyond that, we have enough boxes on ground that will cover the entire country,” he said.

Bright also gave an assurance that with the Oct.1 roll out, every part of the country would be covered.

“We currently have a dealership in virtually every state in Nigeria and as I speak to you now our goods are already with them for October 1 rollout. The coverage from day one will be across Nigeria,”

On sports products, he said the firm has Laliga as well as the FA Cup and  Euro Cup 2021 rights.


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