Despite Ukraine War, Nigeria’s Russian Imports Increase By 143%
Amid the attacks on Ukraine, Nigeria has increased its imports from Russia by 143.21 per cent, according to the foreign trade report of the National Bureau of Statistics for the second quarter of 2022.
It was observed that the total imports from Russia hit N21.84bn in Q2 2022, a massive increase from the N8.98bn in Q1 2022.
In Q1 2022, Nigeria imported N6.27bn herrings and N2.77bn blue whiting from Russia, while by Q2 2022, the country imported N13.39bn blue whitings, N7.21bn herrings, and N1.25bn malt.
This increase is against the prediction that Nigeria’s imports from Russia might be at risk with the ongoing.
Earlier in March, a professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Uyo, Akpan Ekpo, said if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine persisted, Nigeria’s imports from the two countries might be affected.
He added that this would likely lead to inflation and more hardship for Nigerians.
He said, “If Nigeria can’t import wheat anymore or other products that we import from Russia due to sanctions, it is very likely like the prices of products made from wheat or with wheat will rise in the medium to long term. This of course will increase inflation and create more hardship for the average Nigerian.”
He stressed the need for the country to boost domestic wheat production to meet up with local consumption and export opportunities.
However, Russia still remains a topmost supplier of fish, particularly herrings and blue whiting to Nigeria.
While Nigeria still imports blue whiting and herrings from Russia, Nigeria is yet to import durum wheat and mackerel from the country, unlike last year.
Additionally, while Nigeria has been importing from Russia, import from Ukraine seems to be significantly affected as the NBS report has no record of any import from Ukraine.
Speaking on the possible reason for the increase in imports from Russia, a development economist, Aliyu Ilias, explained that Nigeria has to increase its imports from Russia, which has been a major trading partner.
He noted that Nigeria needs the imports to manage the possibility of a food crisis and restrain worsened food inflation.
He said, “Russia has been our old ally for long… If we don’t import these things, inflation may worsen in the country than it is.”
He also noted that since the war is majorly on Ukrainian soil, which explains the reason there was no import from Ukraine, imports from Russia are not significantly affected by the war.