Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow by 1.9 percent this year, accelerating the growth pace from 0.8 percent last year, thanks to fewer disruptions to its oil production and exports, Amine Mati, Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative for Nigeria of the IMF, said on Thursday.
Some recovery in Nigeria’s non-oil economy is also expected to contribute to growth, Mati said presenting a report in Abuja about the regional economic outlook on Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nigeria’s economy was badly hurt by the slump in oil prices and the oil industry downturn, as its major export commodity was fetching lower revenues for the state due to the low oil prices. The situation was aggravated by a wave of militant violence in 2016 and early 2017 when disruptions to oil production and oil infrastructure were frequent events in the African OPEC member.
Oil production started to recover in the latter half of 2017, when attacks on oil infrastructure subsided, and led to Nigeria starting to post economic growth after the recession during the oil price crash.
This year, after some hiccups and pipeline outages during the spring and early summer, Nigeria’s crude oil production has been steadily rising.
In May, Nigeria’s production and exports were disrupted by outages of oil flows on pipelines feeding oil export terminals, as well as delays in cargo loadings. In June, there were disruptions to Bonny Light, Forcados, and Qua Iboe flows—all of which are key Nigerian crude grades.
Crude oil production jumped by 74,000 bpd from its July level to average 1.722 million bpd in August, according to OPEC’s secondary sources. In September, Nigeria further boosted its crude oil production, by 26,000 bpd to 1.748 million bpd.
According to loading programs seen by Reuters, Nigeria’s oil exports are expected to hit their highest level in six months in November, at 1.876 million bpd this month, up from 1.652 million bpd in October, thanks to higher supply from the four key Nigerian grades, Forcados, Bonga, Bonny Light, and Qua Iboe.