Nigeria’s Q1 trade imbalance increased by 175% to $764 million, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

 Nigeria’s Q1 trade imbalance increased by 175% to $764 million, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The value of Nigeria’s international trade deficit rose by 175.13 per cent from $152.94m in January 2022 to $420.79m in March 2022, according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The International Trade Summary on the CBN’s website shows that the total value of international trade was $28.77bn in Q1 2022, with imports at $14.77bn and export at $14.01bn, showing a total trade deficit of N764.69m.

In January 2022, export was $4.74bn and import was $4.89, with a trade deficit of $152.94m.

The value of the trade deficit increases further in February 2022 to hit $190.96m, with export at $4.70bn and import at $4.89bn.

A massive increase is recorded by March 2022 at $420.79m trade deficit, with export at $4.57bn and imports at $4.99bn.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had said in June last year that the country would cut down its import bill in the first quarter of 2022, particularly with the functioning of the Dangote refinery, which would reduce Nigeria’s oil import.

He had said, “Of course for petroleum products, by the time the refinery goes into production by the first quarter of next year and the petrochemical plants we would have reduced our importation by about at least close to 35 per cent.”

However, Nigeria has failed to cut down its import bill and the Dangote refinery is yet to be completed and operational.

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group in its latest report titled ‘Reforms Towards Resolving Foreign Exchange Challenges in Nigeria’ highlighted the downside of the worsening trade deficit.

According to the NESG, Nigeria is greatly inclined to external borrowing through Eurobonds and multilateral loans to push up external reserves due to the declining trade balance position.

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