NNPC deficit spending swells to 4-month high at ₦7 billion

Despite claims of being owed ₦170.6 billion in outstanding subsidy arrears by the Federal Government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) operations suffered another huge setback with an upsurge in monthly deficits.

The rise in the corporation’s deficit levels is contained in its oil and gas report for November, 2017 which shows an increase in monthly deficit from ₦0.41 billion in October – the lowest figure in 13 months – to ₦6.79 billion in November.

The corporation has not recorded any monthly surplus in over the 13-month period shown in its report.

According to the report, the weakness in revenue performance across a number of subsidiaries and units accounted for the increased deficit. For instance, NPDC’s revenue declined slightly to ₦85.13 billion in November while IDSL suffered a revenue drop of 61 per cent to ₦523 million.

NETCO lost 35 per cent of the preceding month’s revenue while the combined revenue of refineries fell by close to 70 per cent in November to a little over ₦13 billion.

PPMC/NPSC recorded a drop of 28 per cent in revenue in November while earnings by head office and ventures dropped by 37 per cent and 55 per cent respectively. Similarly, expenses failed to decline as rapidly as revenues, leading to the increase in deficits.

The upsurge in deficit spending led to an accelerated increase of about 10 per cent in the overall deficit figure from ₦68.84 billion in October to ₦75.63 billion in November. The increase was virtually flat in October at 0.6 per cent, raising hopes for a possible shift to a monthly surplus, as monthly deficits declined sharply for the third month running.

Total revenue grew by 8.9 per cent to ₦3.321 billion between October and November, a slowdown from 13.1 per cent increase in October. The group’s total expenses grew by 8.9 per cent to ₦3,396.62 billion, also slowing down from 12.8 per cent growth in October.

The corporation’s revenue target of a little over ₦4,045 billion at the end of November was undershot by over ₦724 billion, increasing the margin from ₦627 billion at the end of October. NPDC, the upstream subsidiary, achieved a reasonable growth of 17 per cent in revenue to ₦586.77 billion in November from the closing figure in October though a slowdown from over 21 per cent growth in October.

The subsidiary was short of revenue budget target of over ₦714 billion for the end of November by about ₦200 billion. The revenue shortfall has, however, continued to decline from ₦228.4 billion in September. Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company (NGPTC) maintained its previous record of growing revenue ahead of costs. The company improved revenue by close to 11 per cent to ₦250.78 billion in November while expenses grew by 9.7 per cent to ₦185.33 billion over the review period. It is, however, still bursting its expenditure budget though its surplus continues to grow from ₦57.23 billion in October to 65.45 billion in November.

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