Bisi Adeyemi, the President of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), has explained that Nigeria’s trade deficit can be balanced by revamping moribund oil refineries to increase production.
In an interview where she made this known, Adeyemi said not only that, the Federal Government (FG) has to put in place modern industrialisation policies.
“To readjust its trade balance, Nigeria needs to, in the near-term, deal with its idle oil production terminals to ramp up oil production. In the medium to long term, we must draw up a modern industrialisation policy that would address input import cost, electricity supply and other infrastructural challenges preventing manufacturers from producing at competitive costs.
“Nigeria must pivot from exporting primary products to more complex and valuable products. Meanwhile, the 650,000-barrel capacity Dangote refinery is expected to reduce the country’s import bill significantly. After refined oil, durum wheat is Nigeria’s major import item, local alternatives like hard wheat and cassava need to be considered as ready alternatives,” she added.
Nigeria’s trade deficit in 2021 FY
Last year (2021), Nigeria’s foreign trade deficit expanded to N1.94 trillion against a deficit of N178.3 billion recorded in 2020. This was as the cost of importing commodities exceeded the value of its export.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its report, said Foreign trade grew 58% to N39.8 trillion in 2021 from N25.2 trillion the previous year.
Africa’s biggest economy imported N20.8 trillion worth of goods during the period under review, which is 64%higher than the N12.7 trillion recorded in 2020. On the other hand, exports jumped 51% to N18.9 trillion.