The value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade stood at N8,374.4billion in Q3 2020. This represents an increase of 34.15% in Q3, 2020 compared to Q2, 2020 but a decline of 8.85% compared to Q3, 2019. Total trade year to date amounted to N23,203.9billion.
The import component was valued at N5,381.4billion representing an increase of 33.77% in Q3, 2020 against the level recorded in Q2,2020 and 38.02% compared to Q3, 2019. The value of imports in Q3 2020 represented the highest level for any quarter since 2017.
The export component accounted for N2,993 billion of the total trade in Q3,2020 indicating an increase of 34.85% compared to the value recorded in Q2, 2020 but a decrease of 43.41% compared to Q3, 2019. Aside from Q2 2020, the value of exports in Q3 2020 represented the lowest level of any quarter since 2017.
Due to lower exports and higher imports compared to 2019, the trade balance recorded a deficit of N2,388.5billion during the third quarter. This also represents the widest merchandise trade deficit since 2017. When compared to the deficit of N1,803.3 billion recorded in Q2, the Q3 deficit rose by 32.45%.
The predominant export remained crude oil, which was valued at N2,424.8billion, representing 81.02% of total exports while non-crude oil was valued at N568.2billion, or 18.98% of total export during the review period.
Crude oil still remains Nigeria’s major export component accounting for over 81% in the 3rd Quarter and over 80% of government revenue. This indicates that there is still so much to be done to diversify the Nigerian economy.
The Q3 trade figures indicates greater imports (N5,381.4billion) as compared to exports (N2,993billion). While this indicates a trade deficit, the implication is that such trade volumes puts pressure on the Naira as more dollar will be demanded for imports.
We would have advocated for a radical drive towards imports substitution but the business environment might be unfavorable, hence we advise for greater focus on infrastructure like power that would enable manufacturing and in turn increase export.
The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Kwarra, on Tuesday disclosed that the country’s population figure is now officially 206 million.
The Chairman made this known during a press briefing on the commencement of the next Enumeration Area Demarcation.
His words: “In the absence of actual census, we formally do projections and we have all along been doing our projections and we estimate that as of 2020, the estimated population of Nigeria 206 million”.
Buhari had last two months approved N10 billion for the NPC to enable the commission to continue its Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in selected areas across the country.