Nigeria to increase spending with new “Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability”

At a Joint-Session of the National Assembly in Abuja this week, President Buhari delivered his 2022 Budget Speech, presenting what will be his administration’s last full year budget before the 2023 presidential election.

To boost economic recovery, the country will be increasing government spending by over 20% to reach $40bn next year, or NGN 16.39 trillion. This will in turn fuel the fiscal deficit, expected to reach 3.39% of GDP in 2022. In response, Nigeria is expected to borrow an additional NGN 5.01 trillion while raising funds from privatization proceeds (NGN 90.73 bn) and drawdowns on loans secured for specific development projects.

Expectations are that the 2022 budget will help Nigeria achieved a growth of 4.2% this against, again an IMF forecast of 2.3%.

A Bet on Infrastructure

To maintain the pace of infrastructure development, especially in critical projects such as roads, ports, airports and power, the budget provides for the strengthening of concessions and PPP frameworks.

Nigeria is also expected to explore green finance options as part of its Sovereign Green Bond Programme and to leverage debt-for-climate swap mechanisms. Nigeria was already the first nation to issue a sovereign certified climate bond back in 2017.

Expectations from Oil

The oil sector will be once again expected to significantly contribute to government revenues with oil production set at 1.88m barrels per day (including condensate) and the price benchmark at $57 per barrel.

However, the country has repeatedly missed its oil production target. By July of this year, actual oil revenues were 34% below target while the federal government’s share of oil revenue was 51% below target. It remains to be seen if Nigeria can turn things around and ramp production back up, especially given the lack of investment into its oil infrastructure and ongoing divestments from IOCs.

Nigeria produced an average of 1.567m barrels per day (including condensates) in Q3 2021 according to data released by the Department of Petroleum Resources. The country notably had to face a Force Majeure at Shell’s Forcados Terminal from mid-August to mid-September.

A Lingering Subsidy Problem

Overall, Nigeria’s budget will continue to be affected by a heavy subsidy burden. The collapse of oil prices in 2020 led to the removal of subsidy on petrol (PMS), before it was quickly reinstated this year once prices rose again and pushed the landing price above the regulated threshold of NGN 145/litre. Because of subsidies, Nigeria continues to have the cheapest petrol in West Africa, which in turns significantly erodes revenues that could otherwise allocated for social infrastructure projects. Low petrol prices are also creating serious barriers to promote the adoption and consumption of natural gas across the country.

Read more

BW Energy, VAALCO Energy and Panoro Energy secure two exploration blocks offshore Gabon

BW Energy has been provisionally awarded two offshore exploration blocks in Gabon as part of the country’s 12th Offshore Licensing Round. The company will be operator of blocks G12-13 and H12-13 with a 37.5% interest along with VAALCO Energy (37.5%) and Panoro Energy (25%). “The PSCs will have an exploration period totaling eight years which may be extended by a further two years. The partners have committed to drilling exploration wells on the blocks during the exploration period and intend to carry out a 3D seismic acquisition campaign on both blocks,” BW Energy said in a statement this morning. The selection of both blocks is not random for the three companies who already have a strong footprint in the Gulf of Guinea. Both PSCs are adjacent to BW Energy’s Dussafu Marin permit (operator, 73.5%) where production is expected to average 12,800 barrels of oil per day (bopd) this year and where BW Energy is planning two exploration wells per year for the coming five years. They are also adjacent to VAALCO Energy’s Etame Marin PSC (operator, 63.6%) where production averages 20,000 bopd. VAALCO is currently preparing a drilling campaign at Etame for which it has contracted an affiliate of Borr Drilling to drill at least two development wells and two appraisal wellbores with options to drill additional wells. Finally, Panoro Energy has been increasing its presence in the region: the company is already a non-operating partner on Dussafu Marin in Gabon where it acquired an additional 10% earlier this year along with a 14.25% in Block G in Equatorial Guinea where Trident Energy operates the Okume and Ceiba complex. Full details on the Dussafu Marin and Etame developments in Gabon and on Block G (Okume & Ceiba) in Equatorial Guinea are available in the “Projects” section within your Hawilti+ research terminal.

TCX and FMO issue first ever offshore Congolese franc note

Yesterday, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank (FMO) issued on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange the first ever offshore Congolese franc note, with a countervalue of $20m (or about FCFA 40bn) and 14-month tenor. The issuance of the AAA-rated note was supported by TCX, a fund specialised in shielding international lenders and their local borrowers in emerging and frontier markets from exchange rate volatility. By providing FMO with a Congolese franc currency hedging solution at the time of bond issuance, TCX took the currency risk ensured that its Congolese franc bond was converted into US dollars. The bond is a synthetic one, meaning it was issued as an asset in Congolese franc, but the reconciliation of all cash flows is done in US dollars. The investors who acquired this asset bought a bond with the triple-A credit rating of FMO, but with a coupon reflecting the risk exposure of the Congolese market.