Chinese Goods Top Nigeria’s Import List At 26.4%
China led the United States of America in goods imported to Nigeria, accounting for 26.4 per cent of total imports in the country between January and March 2019.
According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria imported goods worth N979.30bn or 26.44 per cent from China in the first quarter of 2019.
China, which had continued to increase its exports to Nigeria, and is now the biggest trading partner, was however not on the list of the top 10 countries Nigeria was exporting its products to.
In April 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria signed a Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement with the People’s Bank of China.
By the end of 2018, the CBN disclosed that it had injected CNY669.66m in the foreign exchange market to support businesses trading with China.
Nigeria had also continued to increase its loans intake from China.
In May, the Federal Executive Council approved another $1bn Chinese loan, to be sourced from the China-Exim Bank for the Gurara II Hydropower project.
A former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe, said, it was cogent for the country to look at the loans it was taking.
He said, “Most times, they say the loans are directed towards one outfit or the other, like rail system. They take these loans but they have no impact on the economy because what happens in such loans is that there will be no local content into it.
“Like here now, all the spare parts are from China; even the machinery are from China, all the things you use to work are from China. So what happens is that technically, you have paid up the money back to them and then, you are still owing them. But if we have something to contribute towards the implementation of that rail system, then the money will circulate within the local economy, but this is not there.
“But you borrow money, the money goes back to them, then you still have the loans to pay and this increases debt servicing.”
The NBS disclosed that goods worth N528.89bn or 14.28 per cent of total imports were imported from Swaziland during the quarter.
This significant volume of import was a result of the importation of a laboratory, hygienic or pharmaceutical glassware for humanitarian purposes, leading to Swaziland appearing for the first time among Nigeria’s top five trading partners in terms of imports.
Other major import trading partners during the quarter were the United States, India and the Netherlands, which accounted for N525.3bn or 8.78 per cent, N242.71bn or 6.55 per cent and N150.72bn or 4.07 per cent respectively.
Within Africa, Nigeria exported goods valued at N300.6bn to ECOWAS member states (representing 32.08 per cent of total merchandise exports to Africa).
By country of destination, Nigeria exported goods mainly to India, Spain, Netherlands, South Africa and France, valued at N745bn or 16.43 per cent, N487.1bn or 10.74 per cent, N405.4bn or 8.9 per cent, N325.5bn or 7.2 per cent and N302.3bn or 6.7 per cent respectively.
Exports trade was dominated by crude oil exports, which contributed N3.376tn or 74.45 per cent to the value of total exports in first quarter of 2019. By section, analysis revealed that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products, which amounted to N3.950tn or 87.1 per cent of the total value of exports.
Nigeria’s imports stood at N3.703tn in Q1, 2019 out of which machinery and transport equipment took N1.505tn or 40.66 per cent of total imports, manufactured goods accounted for N841.3bn or 22.72 per cent and chemical and related products accounted for N403.4bn or 10.89 per cent of total imports during the period under review.
Other major imports were food and live animals, which amounted to N353bn or 9.53 per cent, and mineral fuel, which amounted to N346.2bn or 9.35 per cent during the period under review.