Nigeria’s Imports Surge to N35 Trillion Amid Naira Depreciation

EXPLAINER: What You Should Know About Naira Floating And Devaluation

In a stark reflection of economic trends, Nigeria witnessed a substantial surge in total imports, reaching N35.9 trillion in 2023, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The data breakdown reveals a progressive increase in import figures throughout the year. In the first and second quarters of 2023, total imports amounted to N6.4 trillion, escalating to N9 trillion in the third quarter, and further surging to N14 trillion in the fourth quarter.

Manufactured imports led the chart by volume, accounting for imports worth N18.3 trillion. Agricultural imports followed at N2.2 trillion, while imports of raw materials totaled N3 trillion.

Conversely, Nigeria’s export efforts yielded N35.9 trillion worth of goods in 2023. However, the bulk of these exports were categorized under crude oil, constituting N29 trillion, with other oil products contributing N3.5 trillion.

Agricultural exports amounted to N1.2 trillion, while exports of manufactured goods beyond Nigeria’s borders totaled N778 billion.

Despite the substantial export figures, Nigeria faced significant trade imbalances. The agricultural sector recorded a trade deficit of -N1 trillion, while the manufacturing sector suffered a staggering deficit of -N17.5 trillion.

Muda Yusuf, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, attributed the notable increase in exports on a year-on-year basis to the depreciation of the naira. Yusuf highlighted the adverse impact of currency devaluation on trade dynamics, contributing to the widening trade deficits observed across sectors.

The data underscores the challenges facing Nigeria’s trade landscape and underscores the urgent need for strategic interventions to address trade imbalances and promote sustainable economic growth. As policymakers navigate these complexities, addressing currency stability and enhancing export diversification will be critical to fostering resilience and competitiveness in Nigeria’s trade sector.

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