According to an investigation conducted, there has been a notable surge in the trade balance between Nigeria and China, reaching a staggering ₦7.54tn during the initial nine months of 2023. A recent analysis of data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed a growing imbalance in bilateral trade, as China continues to gain an increasingly larger trade deficit advantage. Over the course of the last twelve months, Nigeria has experienced a consistent rise in its imports from this Asian nation.
In the period between January and September 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) foreign trade statistics unveiled a fascinating revelation regarding the country’s imports. The data indicated that an astounding ₦8.4tn worth of goods had been imported from China during this nine-month period. During the first quarter, the nation purchased an estimated ₦1.29tn worth of produce, followed by an increase to ₦2.56tn in the second quarter, and a substantial jump to ₦4.53tn in the third quarter.
China imports a wide array of products from Nigeria.
During the period, significant deficits were observed as the NBS data revealed the value of Nigeria’s exports to China. In the first quarter, exports were estimated at ₦126.61bn, followed by ₦251.8bn in the second quarter, and a substantial increase to ₦482.4bn in the third quarter. The cumulative total for these nine months amounted to ₦860.82bn. China imports a wide array of products from Nigeria, ranging from valuable minerals, metals, and agricultural goods to the precious resource of crude oil.
A recent report from China’s Custom agency revealed a statistic for 2021; Nigeria emerged as the leader among African nations when it comes to importing from China. The imported goods from Nigeria were estimated to be worth a staggering $23 billion, which equates to around ₦9.6 trillion, accounting for an impressive 16 percent of the entire continent’s import values from China. However, the country failed to make it to the list of the five leading African nations in terms of exports to China during that time.
It is imperative for Nigeria to make the most of its population.
Its export value only amounted to $3 billion (equivalent to approximately ₦1.3 trillion) for the year. Nigerian companies are continuously being criticized by experts for their recurring trade deficit, highlighting their enduring struggle with inadequate production capabilities and lack of competitiveness. Doris Aniete, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Commerce, faced intense scrutiny during her recent appearance before a group of senators. The purpose of the minister’s appearance was to defend the budget of the ministry. However, the spotlight was cast on her when the senators raised questions about the country’s balance of trade, particularly in relation to China.
Adams Oshiomhole, the Senator representing Edo North, raised a crucial question regarding the country’s trade balance, specifically with China. He emphasized that those nations importing goods to Nigeria must establish manufacturing plants within Nigerian borders. In order to foster the development of Nigerian industries, it is imperative for the country to make the most of its population. In spite of that, the minister disclosed to the collaborative committee that her ministry had not yet obtained any such documentation.
Establishment of the trade intelligence unit.
She further expressed her disappointment in informing the senators that they currently possess no documentation whatsoever regarding the trade balance. Either it has been misplaced within the ministry or, quite possibly, it does not even exist. To rectify this disheartening situation, the ministry has taken the necessary steps to establish a novel department known as the trade intelligence unit. Its primary objective will be to guarantee the creation and safekeeping of accurate data pertaining to its trade activities, conveyed Uzoka.