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Nigeria’s imports from China increased by 183.91% from N530.98 billion in the first quarter of 2018 to N1.51 trillion in the same period of 2022.
Foreign trade data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Nigeria had its imports from China.
Specifically, during the review period, China ranks first out of 10 countries from which Nigeria engaged in importing.
Available data further showed that while China is responsible for the bulk of the country’s imports, exports to China are negligible and the country was not among the country’s top 10 export destinations in the first quarters. from 2018-2020 and from 2022.
In the first quarter of 2021, however, China made it into the top 10 export destinations when it ranked third with N190.11 billion. During the same quarter, total imports from China were estimated at N2.01 billion.
At the same time, imports from China increased during the five quarters under review. In the first quarter of 2018, it was 530.98 billion naira, but increased to 979.29 billion naira in the first quarter of 2019 and 1.11 billion naira in the first quarter of 2020. It was the highest in the first quarter 2021 to 2.01 trillion naira and dropped to 1.51 trillion naira in the first quarter of 2022.
According to the NBS, imports from China include motorcycles, machines for voice reception, electrical apparatus for wired telephony or wired telegraphy, mackerel, parts of machinery for working rubber or plastic , raw salt, compressed salt used in animal feed, antibiotics, and weedkillers.
Nigeria’s exports to China during the review period included polyethylene, leather, sesame seeds, cashew nuts, zinc ores and concentrates, and lead ores and concentrates.
In the first quarter of 2022, imports to China accounted for 25.55% of total imports of N5.90 trillion; in the first quarter of 2021, it represented 29.34% of total imports (6,850 billion naira); in the first quarter of 2020, it accounted for 26.28% of total imports (4.22 trillion naira); in the first quarter of 2019, it accounted for 26.4% of total imports (3.7 trillion naira); while it accounted for 21.1% of total imports (N2.52 trillion) in the first quarter of 2018.
Commenting on the situation, the Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group/Vice Chairman of Sapele Integrated Industries Limited. Mr. Ede Dafinone, said that there is no requirement of equality on imports and exports for nations.
“There is no guarantee or obligation for any country to import and export the same volume from each other.
“If Nigeria exports a certain amount of goods and services and imports another amount of goods and services from another country, the question is what is the next difference with net imports and exports.
“There is no requirement as to which country is responsible for it. It doesn’t matter where the deficit is as long as there is an overall surplus, he said.
Bilateral relations between Nigeria and China have improved in recent years: during the review period, Nigeria’s borrowing from China increased by 89.94% to $3.67 billion, makes it the country’s largest bilateral lender.
According to the Debt Management Office, about $3.12 billion of China’s loans are project-related.
These projects include: 11 projects such as the Nigerian Railway Corporation Modernization Project; Abuja Light Rail Project; and the terminal expansion project at four Nigerian airports in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt.