By year-end 2018, the country recorded a total trade value of ₦32.3 trillion1, representing 39.3% increase over the corresponding period in 2017. The volume of total merchandise trade in 2018 is noted to be the highest since 2014, nearly double pre-recession levels. Export component grew by approximately 41%, from ₦13.6 trillion in 2017 to ₦19.1 trillion in 2018. Oil (crude and non-crude) is responsible for the most part of export growth in the review year and accounts for about 94% of total exports. Agriculture and manufacturing sector exports also recorded a boost, rising to ₦302 billion and ₦645.7 billion respectively. Similarly, imports rose by 37.5% to ₦13.2 trillion. With exports exceeding imports, the current account balance of trade improved to ₦5.9 trillion in 2018. To further boost Nigeria’s current account position going forward, supply-side policies to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of domestic industries, and thus exports is crucial.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Available data from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates a decline in oil and other petroleum production between 2015 and 2016. Crude oil production fell by 16 percent, from 777.5 million barrels in 2015 to 656.8 million barrels in 2016. This is also indicative of the number of exploratory rig count that fell from 15 rigs to 8 rigs in 2016. Similarly, Gas production declined by 10 percent to 2,711 million one thousand standard cubic feet (mscf) in 2016. The significant decline in crude oil and petroleum production, brings to perspective the extent of the damage caused on production pipelines by militants in the Niger Delta region in 2016. It is therefore important to invest national resources in maintaining domestic peace and security, especially in resource-rich regions of the country.
Recently released data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that there was significant increase in Nigerias total merchandise trade for 2016Q3. Basically, the total merchandise trade increased (quarter-on-quarter) by 16.29 percent to N4, 722 billion in 2016Q3;owing to 29.1 percent increase in exports and 6.2 percent rise in imports. Oil exports increased by 31 percent to N1, 943 billion, while non-oil exports increased by 20.5 percent to N440 billion. However, on the aggregate, Nigeria recorded yet another trade deficit of N104 billion, indicating continuous higher imports relative to exports. Overall, though there is improvement in the performance of non-oil sector, however, this is insufficient to effectively complement the loss in oil trade sustained since the beginning of oil price crash. This suggests that diversification into non-oil sector may not be able to rescue the economy in the short term. However, while the diversification efforts should be sustained, eliminating hurdles in oil production may be instrumental to higher exports, especially as oil price increase is gaining momentum.
Gross Domestic Product Growth Rate: The growth performance of the Oil and Gas sector has been unsteady throughout years and declined most significantly in 2015Q4, following a positive growth recorded