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Nigeria’s trade gap with China widens to over N1tn

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Nigeria’s trade gap with China widens to over N1tn

China has topped the list of top exporting nations to Nigeria but does not appear on the list of top importing countries, widening both countries’ trade deficits.

According to data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in the first quarter of 2022, Nigeria imported over N1.51 trillion worth of goods from China while exporting only N148bn.

This indicates a deficit gap of N1.36 trillion, a 51 per cent increase when compared to N900 billion recorded in the last quarter of 2021.

In the Q4, 2021 data Nigeria sold N739 billion worth of goods to the Chinese market while importing N1.65 trillion.

Commenting on the balance of trade position of Nigeria with China, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Chinyere Almona, stated: “It is true that Nigerian import from China has significantly increased in the last decade displacing the West.

Read also: China missing from top spot, as data show Nigeria’s major investors by country

“The reasons can be attributed to: The Chinese Government putting in place international trade policies that deliberately fund Chinese exports to third world countries, making their goods readily available and cheaper. Exporting from Nigeria is a tough venture considering the bottlenecks in the processes.

“This must be addressed to compete favourably; and some loans granted by China to Nigeria and other African countries are tied to projects that are executed using Chinese materials. All of these raise the Chinese exports to Africa”.

On what Nigeria needs to do to redress the situation, Almona said: “Nigeria must improve on its export infrastructure to boost exports and seek for cheaper sources of loans that are tied to boosting productive capacities in the country.

“Once we are able to produce more, and export processes are not cumbersome, Nigeria will record higher exports and lower imports towards balancing the trade between the two countries.”

On his part, Ugochukwu Uma an economist attributed the reduced export data of Nigeria to China to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

He explained that Russia was selling crude to China at a cheaper rate and this he said has shifted the attention of the world’s largest importer of crude.

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