Yemisi Izuora/Ijeoma Agudosi
The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has said that
Nigeria’s oil and gas sector attracted $821.23 million, (N303.855 billion) foreign investments, in 15 months, between January 2016 and March 2017.
The NBS in its Capital Importation Report for the First Quarter of 2017,stated that in 2016, the sector recorded $720.15 million, about N266.456 billion foreign capital inflow, whereas in the first three months of 2017, it recorded $101.08 million, about N37.4 billion foreign capital inflow.
In the first quarter of 2016, $20.83 million foreign investment flowed into the Nigerian oil and gas sector, followed by $200.39 million, $171.63 million and $327.30 million recorded in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2017.
At $101.08 million, the value of foreign capital inflow into the oil and gas sector in the first quarter of 2017 appreciated by 385.26 percent when compared with $20.83 million recorded in the first quarter of 2016; while it represented a decline of 69.12 percent when compared to $327.3 million inflow recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The agency stated that the total value of capital imported into Nigeria in the first quarter of 2017 was estimated to be $908.27 million.
The amount is nevertheless 41.36 percent smaller than the value of capital imported in the previous quarter and was the second lowest value recorded since 2007.
It said, “There was a high-profile sale of bonds denoted in a non-local currency during the quarter, but this has not yet appeared in the data; there is a lag between subscription and actual payment, and therefore it is possible that this will show up next quarter.”
It explained that capital importation was particularly low in January, at $187.90 million, adding that this was only the fourth month since 2007 in which capital importation was less than $200 million.
It noted that “the main driver of the quarterly decline was a fall in Other Investment, although Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) also contributed. Portfolio investment was the only category to record an increase relative to the previous quarter.
“The fall in FDI comes after four consecutive quarters of increase, and the fall in Other Investment follows three consecutive quarters of increase. However, the data is volatile and therefore the dip in the first quarter may not be sustained.
“Nearly all of the quarterly fall resulted from declines in capital imported into the Telecommunications and Oil and Gas sectors, which recorded unusually high values in the previous quarter.”