In a crucial blow to President Buhari’s economic policies, the value of Nigeria’s exports dropped by a massive 40% to about N9.7 trillion (2014:16.3 trillion). The National Bureau of Statistics made this revelation in its fourth quarter Foreign Trade Statistics report.
According to the Bureau, crude oil exports on an annual basis total exports from Nigeria stood at N9.728 trillion at the end of 2015, representing a drop of N6.57 trillion or 40.3% over levels recorded in 2014. Crude oil exports also took a significant hit as it dropped by about 41.6% in 2015 to about N6.94 trillion. Total oil sales was about N9.6 trillion down 40.7% when compared o the N16.2 trillion reported in 2014. Non oil exports for the year was about N1.16 trillion.
In terms of the composition of Nigeria’s exports, the largest product exported by Nigeria in 2015 was “Mineral products” which accounted for N8,574.3 billion or 88.1%. Other products that contributed noticeably to Nigeria’s exports include “Vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof; vessels etc.” and “Prepared Foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco” whose values stood at N681.6 billion or 7.0%, and N167.1 billion or 1.7% respectively, of the total exports of Nigeria for the year.
Nigeria’s imports stood at N6.3 trillion compared to N7.3 trillion reported in 2014. Imports came mostly from Boilers, machinery and appliances accounting for about N1,580.0 billion or 23.6% of the total value of imports in 2015. Mineral Products was next with N1,273.4 billion (19.0%) followed by Vehicles, aircraft and associated parts at N608.5 billion (9.1%). Products of the chemical and allied industries stood at N578.9 billion (8.6%) and Base metals and articles of base metals was N574.1 billion (8.5%).
This report represents a critical blow to President Buhari’s economic polices (that is assuming he has one). The Central Bank has imposed capital controls since 2015 restricting the outflow of forex outside the country. This policy has significantly affected the level of imports into the country and has widened the gap between the official and black market rates.
The drop in the price of oil since 2014 and the disruption to oil production due to pipeline vandalisation has also negatively affected oil exports proceeds. The monetary policy committee of the CBN meets next Tuesday as analysts anticipates its response to a rash of data released last week. Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to a three year high of 11.4% while GDP growth rate was just 2.79% (2015) compared to about 6.22% in 2014