Minister Blames Oil Production Reduction On Flow Stations Closure

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The Minister of Finance and Cordinator of the Nation’s economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has attributed reduction in the oil production level to force majure declared by some oil companies in the country due to increasing oil theft:                  The Minister was reported to have put the total loss to oil thieves at 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) translating to a monthly loss of revenue of N160 million.

Okonjo-Iweala who spoke in a press conference at the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meeting in Washington DC, United States said the reduction in production level and drop in the prices of crude at the international market are threatening the funding of the 2013 Appropriation Act.

The Minister said less than the estimated 2.5 million barrels per day for the 2013 budget, the production level presently hover between 2.1 million bpd  and 2.2 million barrels per day.

The 2013 N4.93 trillion budget was based on the speculation of a $79 – per barrel budget oil price, up from 2012 budget and the $75 per barrel proposed by the executive. She however assured that the $7 billion left in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) would only stabilize the shortfall within the next three months.

Meanwhile the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had in its economic report for January released recently, disclosed that the country in January earned N599 billion from crude oil.

According to the report “Federally collected revenue (gross) in January 2013, at N774.8 billion, was below the provisional monthly budget estimate by 4.1 per cent but exceeded the receipt at the end of December 2012 by 1.8 per cent.

“The decline relative to provisional monthly budget estimate was attributed to the fall in non-oil revenue during the review period.

“At 599.0 billion, oil receipts (gross), which constitute 77.3 per cent of the total revenue exceeded the provisional budget estimate and receipts in the preceding month by 8.3 and 2.2 per cent respectively.

“The rise in oil receipts relative to the proportionate monthly budget estimate was attributed to increase in prices of crude oil in the international market during the review period”.

The reported added that relative to the level in the corresponding period of 2012, gross oil receipts however fell by 3.5 per cent non-oil receipts (gross), a t N175.8 billion or 22.7 per cent of the total was 31.6 and 13.8 per cent lower than the provisional monthly budget estimate and the receipts in 2012.