The National Bureau of Statistics released its 2018 Third Quarter Foreign Trade Statistics report showing Nigeria’s import bill rose to N4.1 trillion representing a 70.8% increase over the previous quarter (N2.4 trillion). Quarterly import for the corresponding quarter in 2017 was also about N2.4 trillion.
- A closer look at Nigeria’s import drivers reveals vehicle, aircraft, vessels and parts imports rose by a whopping 891% to N1.39 trillion when compared to the N156.9 billion reported a year earlier. It was also 8.8 times higher than the N142.7 billion reported in imports in the immediate past quarter.
- Spending on vehicle, aircraft, vessels, and parts thereof was about 33% of total imports.
- During the quarter, Nairametrics intelligence picked up a significant rise in aircraft importation during the year. Airpeace and Aero reported delivery of aircraft during the quarter though it cannot be ascertained if these were all reported for the quarter in view.
- Nigerian airforce also took delivery of fighter jets during the quarter.
- Interesting to note that South Korea topped the list of the country where Nigeria imported goods from toppling China for the first time.
- Imports from South Korea rose to N1.2 trillion for the quarter one of the highest quarterly imports from any country since Nairametrics starting tracking this data.
- This perhaps explains why vehicle imports rose as Korean cars have for some years now dominated Nigeria’s vehicle imports.
- However, the bureau reported that total imports of N 4,172.3 in Q3,2018 were 73.8 % higher than Q2,2018 due to the “importation of submersible drilling platforms in August”.
- Our intelligence suggests this could be as a result of the $3.8 billion Egina Vessel which we understand was fabricated by Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI).
- SHI is the operator of a fabrication and integration yard (SHI-MCI yard) in the zone, which was used to integrate the Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel, which has sailed away to the 200,000 barrels per day Egina oilfield.