Im­ports from other W’african na­tions drop by N127bn

The Punch - - BUSINESS & ECONOMY - Anna Okon

The value of goods im­ported by Nige­ria from other West African na­tions, es­pe­cially mem­bers of the Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity of West African States, fell by N127bn be­tween the sec­ond and third quar­ter of 2019.

Data from the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics showed that the value of Nige­ria’s im­port trade with ECOWAS in the sec­ond quar­ter was N146.1bn.

how­ever, by the third quar­ter, the amount re­duced dras­ti­cally to N19.1bn due in part to the bor­der clo­sure that came into ef­fect on Au­gust 28.

In terms of ex­ports, the coun­try seemed to have fared bet­ter dur­ing the pe­riod under re­view.

Nige­ria’s ex­port trade with ECOWAS coun­tries in the first quar­ter of 2019 was val­ued at N300.6bn, rep­re­sent­ing 32.8 per cent of the to­tal ex­ports to African coun­tries.

In the sec­ond quar­ter, value of ex­port trade was N200.3bn.

The to­tal value of the ex­ports to West African coun­tries rose to N1.14tn in the third quar­ter, rep­re­sent­ing 21.56 per cent of to­tal ex­ports to African coun­tries.

The high value of ex­ports in the quar­ter under re­view was at­trib­ut­able to ex­ports of cable sheaths of iron and sub­mersible drilling plat­forms to Ghana.

An anal­y­sis of ex­ports by coun­try of des­ti­na­tion showed that Nige­ria ex­ported N908.6bn worth of goods to Ghana, rep­re­sent­ing 17.18 per cent of to­tal ex­ports.

The value of to­tal ex­ports for the third quar­ter stood at N5.3tn, in­di­cat­ing an in­crease of 15.02 per cent against the level recorded in Q2, 2019 and 8.97 per cent when com­pared with its value in Q3, 2018, fur­ther anal­y­sis of the data showed.

The crude oil com­po­nent of ex­port amounted to N3.7tn or 70.84 per cent of the to­tal ex­ports while non-crude oil ex­port grew sig­nif­i­cantly and was val­ued at N1.5tn or 29.13 per cent.

The con­tin­ued drop in im­ports from the ECOWAS sub-re­gion has been at­trib­ut­able to the bor­der clo­sure and it is pro­jected to fall fur­ther.

While pre­sent­ing the 2019 eco­nomic re­view and out­look for 2020, the Director Gen­eral, La­gos Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try, Dr Muda Yusuf, said the con­tin­ued pro­tec­tion­ist pol­icy of the gov­ern­ment would likely limit growth next year.

he added that com­pe­ti­tion be­tween for­eign and lo­cal pro­duc­ers would fade on con­tin­ued bor­der clo­sure.

An­a­lysts for Quartz, a plat­form for African news and anal­y­sis, Landry Signe and Co­lette Van der Ven, said Nige­ria’s bor­der clo­sure was in­con­sis­tent with its 44-year long com­mit­ment to the ECOWAS, which Nige­ria spear­headed in 1975.

They added that by re­spond­ing to a trade prob­lem through uni­lat­eral bor­der clo­sure, Nige­ria had also de­fied the pro­vi­sions of the African Con­ti­nen­tal free Trade Area agree­ment to which it signed only a few months ago.

how­ever, a man­u­fac­turer and the Man­ag­ing Director of Cole­man Wires and Ca­bles Lim­ited, Mr Ge­orge Ono­fowokan, said the bor­der clo­sure had its ad­van­tages, es­pe­cially for lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers.

he said al­though some man­u­fac­tur­ers took their goods across the bor­der to other African coun­tries, the level of smug­gling of lo­cally man­u­fac­tured goods had equally re­duced.

“An im­porter who usu­ally brings ca­bles through the bor­der called us re­cently to buy ca­bles from us. What this means is that he has now found it cheaper to buy lo­cally than to im­port as his only im­port route will be through the sea where he will be re­quired to pay the full duty,” he said.

Ono­fowokan noted that the im­ports through the bor­der opened an av­enue for a lot of in­frac­tions and under-dec­la­ra­tion of goods, a sit­u­a­tion not pos­si­ble when im­port­ing through the sea.

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