In the first half of 2023, Nigeria witnessed a growth in its foreign exchange earnings, resulting in a foreign trade surplus of N2.22 trillion.
This increase came as Nigeria explored new avenues to boost its foreign exchange earnings.
According to recent data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s total import bill amounted to N11.29 trillion, while total exports reached N13.50 trillion, indicating that the country managed to accrue N2.22 trillion in foreign exchange earnings during this period.
Surge in trade surplus despite a 12.68% decline
Despite a 12.68 percent decline in foreign trade, which fell from N28.39 trillion in the corresponding period of 2022 to N24.79 trillion in the first six months of 2023, the country’s trade surplus surged by an impressive 258.20 percent compared to the N618.81 billion recorded in the first two quarters of 2022.
The NBS reported on foreign trade in Q1 2023, stating that “in the second quarter of 2023, Nigeria’s total trade amounted to N12.74 trillion, with total exports standing at N7.02 trillion and total imports at N5.73 trillion.”
Although total exports increased by 8.15 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2023, they declined by 5.20 percent compared to the same quarter in 2022.
Similarly, total imports increased by 2.99 percent compared to the first quarter of 2023 but declined by 10.37 percent when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2022.
The majority of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings from trade were attributed to crude oil, amounting to N10.74 trillion.
The country’s foreign exchange expenditures were mainly directed towards machinery and transport equipment (N3.25 trillion) and mineral fuels (N3.74 trillion).
Nigeria’s crude oil earnings have been steadily rising due to improved production volumes, a result of collaborative efforts between security officials and oil operators.