Total Nigeria merchandising trade stood at N9.12 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing an 8.9 percent increase relative to the preceding quarter and a 9.9 percent decrease relative to the corresponding quarter of 2019.1 For the fifth consecutive quarter, Nigeria recorded a negative balance of trade with the import component of trade accounting for 65 percent while export component of trade accounted for 35 percent. Crude oil accounted for 78.93 percent of Nigeria’s export while manufactured goods accounted for 64.56 percent of total imports. Nigeria’s major export trading partner is India (17.12 percent) while China (28.28 percent) accounted for most import to Nigeria. Improvements in foreign trade is expected to continue as economic activities in our major trading partner countries increase. However, diversifying the export base to include other goods such as agricultural commodities, textiles, and manufactured goods is pertinent. To achieve this, ensuring standardization of commodities and setting competitive freight charges will unlock the opportunities in external trade.
March 24, 2021