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Nigerians Spent N31.07bn Importing Cement, asbestos, others

Ololade Omosan-Agie

The value of cement, asbestos, articles of stone, mica and ceramic imported in the fourth quarter of 2020 stood at N31.07bn, figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics on foreign trade in goods revealed.

According to the NBS, the value of the building materials exported fell to N459.31m in the fourth quarter of 2020 from N681.57m in the fourth quarter of 2019.

It also revealed that the export figure rose from N702.53m in the fourth quarter of 2017 to N1.09bn in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In Q4, total merchandise trade in the country stood at 9.12tn, representing 8.9 per cent over the level recorded in Q3, 2020 but 9.9 per cent lower when compared to Q4, 2019.

The value of trade in Q4 was the highest recorded over the past year, the NBS stated.

It added that the export component of trade stood at N3.19tn, an increase of 6.7 per cent over the preceding quarter but a drop of 33 per cent over the previous year.

The share of exports in total trade declined to 35 per cent in Q4, 2020 from 47 per cent a year earlier.

It added that the total imports reached a record high at N5.92tn in Q4 2020, an increase of 10.1 per cent over the preceding quarter, and 10.8 per cent over the preceding year.

Imports also accounted for 65 per cent of total trade in Q4 2020, compared to 53 per cent the previous year.

As the value of imports nearly doubled the value of exports, the trade deficit rose to its highest level and a fifth consecutive quarterly deficit at N2.73tn, an increase of 14.30 per cent compared to the preceding quarter.

On an annual basis, total trade was valued at N32.42tn in 2020, or 10.3 per cent less than the value recorded in 2019.

The value of total imports in 2020 stood at N19.89tn, or 17.3 per cent higher than in 2019, while total exports were valued at N12.52tn, or 34.8 per cent less than in 2019.

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