The value of manufactured products imported into the nation in 2022 was N11 trillion, a difference of N10.2 trillion from its import component of N781 billion.This is in accordance with the National Bureau of Statistics’ report on foreign trade statistics.
According to the study, the import bill for manufactured products was N2.9 trillion in the first quarter of 2022 and N2.7 trillion in the second. Imports of manufactured goods cost N2.8 trillion in the third quarter and N2.4 trillion in the fourth.
Yet, in the first quarter of the year under consideration, Nigeria was only able to export manufactured items valued N219 billion. The second quarter saw N119 billion come after this. Manufacturing exports in the the and fourth quarters of 2022 totaled N131.4 billion and N311 billion, respectively.
The Federal Government has made various efforts to support domestic manufacturing in the nation through its backward integration strategy, yet the gap between imports and exports of manufactured products remains very large.
To this purpose, in order to prevent the indiscriminate importation of items that could otherwise be produced domestically, the Federal Government gave the Central Bank of Nigeria instructions to restrict the foreign exchange made accessible to manufacturers.
the Deputy-President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gabriel Idahosa, said the backward integration policy would take a long time to materialise. He noted that most manufacturing firms in the country were yet to key into the idea.
He said, “Backward integration will take a long time to reduce that gap. A lot of companies are not involved in backward integration. It is a select number of companies that are actively involved in backward integration.
“A lot of the rest are just involved in importing their raw materials. In some areas, we cannot backward integrate because we do not have the raw materials or the technology to do it.
If you are manufacturing a car in Nigeria, you cannot backward integrate to start building engines or even producing tires. You more or less still import most of the components and just put them together.”
Idahosa further noted that even advanced economies such as Japan and China record huge import bills, but also understand the value of placing emphasis on their areas of strength with regard to production.