By Nkiruka Nnorom
There are indications that the Federal Government may not meet the N2.01 trillion oil and gas revenue target as encapsulated in the 2021 budget over low energy consumption occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an expert.
Speaking at a conference convened by First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited, Mr Jimi Ogbobine, Head, Agusto Consulting, noted that despite the uptrend in international oil prices, that has seen prices surpass the $40 per barrel budget benchmark, the country would still suffer a period of low oil and gas export revenue this year due to the supply cuts by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“There may be trends and spikes that may cause the oil price to go up, but in the long term, especially this year, we are still not excited about oil prices. Energy consumption is still low because of remote work experience, and consumption of aviation fuel is also low.
“Secondly, OPEC is currently curbing supplies to stimulate pricing. So, even when prices rally for whatever reason, Nigeria’s oil supply will still be low because OPEC + has cut our supplies. So, irrespective of the rally in prices, the cut in supply means that we will not be where we want to be in terms of oil revenue,” Ogbobine stated.
At the backdrop of the adverse implications of the lower oil export earnings on the economy, he advised women entrepreneurs to expand their online presence, target diaspora consumers and also improve the bankability of their businesses to stay afloat.
Mr Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, First Bank of Nigeria, speaking at the event, said the bank gave out a total of N58 billion to over 81,000 female entrepreneurs and professionals in 2020, adding that the FirstGem initiative of the bank takes an inclusive approach to empowering women to make confident and sound decisions with respect to their business, family, and future.