By Dipo Olowookere
Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown that in 2017, Nigeria exported more goods than it imported in the year.
Nigeria is known to rely more on imported products especially from Europe, America and Asia, but since the present administration came into power in 2015, it had done more to change the narrative, making Nigeria export more than it imports.
Last week, chief executive of the state-owned oil firm, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Maikanti Baru, disclosed that Nigeria, one of the oil producing countries in the world, was the most importer of petrol in the globe. Crude oil produced in the country is taken out to be refined and bought to service the nation.
According to the data by the stats office, the total value of goods imported into Nigeria last year was N9.562 trillion, 8.5 percent lower than the 2016 trade import value of N8.817 trillion.
But in the fourth quarter of 2017, the total imports value was N2.1 trillion, was 15.1 percent less than Q3 2017 Figure which was N2.5 trillion and 8.5 percent lower than Q4, 2016, which was N2.3 trillion.
NBS said imported agricultural goods decreased by 1.7 percent in Q4 2017 (N227.4 billion) compared to Q3 2017 (N231.4 billion) but increased by 15.9 percent when compared to Q4, 2016 (N196.2 billion). For full year, 2017, imported agricultural goods increased by 35.09 percent to N886.7 billion from N656.4 billion in 2016.
Raw materials imports in Q4 2017 (N279.4 billion) were 2.1 percent lower than Q3, 2017 value (N285.3 billion), and 2.7 percent lower than Q4 2016 (N287.2 billion). For full year 2017, imported raw materials increased by 19.3 percent to N1.1 trillion from 945.7 billion in 2016.
Solid minerals imports grew by 5.19 percent in Q4 2017 (N15.2 billion) over the Q3, 2017 value (N14.5 billion), and 9.2 percent over Q4 2016 (N13.9 billion). For full year 2017, imported solid minerals increased by 372.2 percent to N235.1 billion from N49.7 billion in 2016.
Energy goods imports grew significantly by 950 percent in Q4 2017 (N138.1 million), higher than Q3, 2017 value (N13.15 million), and 57176 percent over Q4 2016 (N0.24 million). For full year 2017, imported energy goods increased to N187.17 million from N8.07 million in 2016.
Manufactured goods imports declined in Q4 2017 by 0.28 percent (N1.2 trillion) in comparison to Q3 2017 (N1.2 trillion), but grew by 10 percent in comparison to Q4 2016 (N1.1 trillion). For full year 2017, imported manufactured products decreased by 0.06 percent to N4.6 trillion from N4.7 trillion in 2016.
Other oil products imports were 48.86 percent lower in value in Q4 2017 than Q3 2017, and 46.5 percent lower than the value recorded in Q4 2016 and for full year 2017, other oil product imports increased by 5.93 percent over 2016.
However, the total value of export stood at N3.9 trillion in Q4 2017, growing by 9.35 percent over Q3 2017, and by 31.27 percent over Q4 2016. For full year 2017, total exports of N13.6 trillion were 59.47 percent higher than for 2016 with a value of N8.5 trillion.
Agricultural goods exports grew in value by 54.9 percent in Q4 2017 (N44.7 billion) in comparison to Q3 2017 (N28.8 billion), and by 170.9 percent in comparison to Q4 2016 (N16.5 billion). For full year 2017, agriculture exports grew 180.7 percent (N170.4 billion) above the value in 2016 (N60.7 billion).
Raw material exports in Q4 2017 (N37.8 billion) were 43.2 percent more in value than Q3, 2017 (N26.4 billion) and 71.7 percent more than Q4, 2016 (N22 billion). For full year 2017, raw material exports grew 154.2 percent (N112.9 billion) above the value in 2016 (N44.4 billion).
Solid minerals exports in Q4 2017 grew by 55 percent in value when compared to Q3 2017, and by 473.5 percent in value when compared to same period last year Q4 2016. For full year 2017, solid minerals exports grew 565 percent (N77.2 billion) above the value in 2016 (N11.6 billion).
Manufactured goods exports in Q4, 2017 (N55.3 billion) were 28.1 percent more than the value attained in Q3, 2017 (N43.2 billion) but declined by 18.03 percent in comparison to Q4 2016 (N67.5 billion). For full year 2017, exports of manufactured goods grew 26.8 percent (N232.05 billion) above the value in 2016 (N182.9 billion).
Crude Oil exports in Q4 2017 were 9.51 percent more than the value recorded in Q3 2017 and 34.2 percent higher than Q4, 2016. For full year 2017, crude oil exports grew 57.6 percent above the value in 2016.
Other oil products exports increased by 0.45 percent over Q3 2017 and by 9.3 percent over the same period last year (Q4 2016). For full year 2017, exports of other oil products grew 57.75 percent above the value in 2016.
The stats office said total trade recorded for Q4 2017 was N6 trillion which represented a decline of 0.7 percent over the Q3 2017, and an increase of 13.9 percent over the same period last year Q4 2016). For full year 2017, total trade was N23.2 trillion which is 33.5 percent higher when compared to the value in 2016 of N17.4 trillion.
Trade balance, accordingly, stood at a surplus of N1.8 trillion in Q4 2017 compared to the surplus of N1.1 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter and the surplus of N671.30 billion in the corresponding quarter last year. For full year 2017, trade balance stood at N4 trillion compared to a negative trade balance of -N290.1 billion in 2016.
Investors Trapped as Standard Alliance, Niger Insurance Lose Operating Licences
By Dipo Olowookere
The operating licences of Standard Alliance Insurance Plc and Niger Insurance Plc have been revoked by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
Although no specific reason was given for the withdrawal of the licences of the underwriting firms, the regulatory agency for the insurance sector in Nigeria disclosed that the revocation became effective Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
“This is to notify all insurance stakeholders and members of the public that the National Insurance Commission has cancelled the certificates of registration of Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, RIC – 091 and Niger Insurance Plc, RIC – 029 with effect from the 21st day of June 2022,” a statement issued on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, by the Head of Corporate Communications and Market Development at NAICOM, Mr Rasaaq Salami, stated.
In the meantime, the two insurance companies would be run by receivers/liquidators announced by the agency.
“The commission has appointed Sanya Ogunkuade Esq of Plot 217, Upper Grace Plaza, 3rd Floor (Left Wing), Shetima Munguno Crescent, Behind Julius Berger Equipment Yard, Utako, Abuja as the receiver/liquidator for Niger Insurance Plc, while Kehinde Aina Esq of Aina Blankson LP, 5/7, Ademola Street, SW Ikoyi, Lagos has been appointed the receiver/liquidator for Standard Alliance Insurance Plc,” the statement further said.
Concluding, NAICOM advised all stakeholders “to forward their enquiries to the respective receiver/liquidator for each company for their necessary action,” assuring them “of the safety and protection of their interests.”
Business Post reports that Standard Alliance and Niger Insurance are both listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and with this action of NAICOM, shareholders of the firms are trapped as they may not be able to recoup their investments in the companies.
Shares of the insurance companies closed flat at 20 kobo each today, with investors trading 1,530 units of Niger Insurance shares on Monday and no trade recorded for Standard Alliance Insurance as it has been on suspension since July 2019, according to data obtained by this newspaper from the exchange on Tuesday.
Niger Insurance has shares outstanding of 7,739,479,368 units and a market capitalisation of N1.6 billion, while Standard Alliance Insurance has 12,911,030,586 units valued at N2.6 billion.
Both companies will have their stocks delisted from the bourse in the coming days.
Nigeria Must Adopt Dual Circulation Economy to Prosper—Sekibo
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Managing Director of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr Ifie Sekibo, has advised the federal government to adopt a dual circulation economic strategy like China to attain prosperity.
A dual circulation economy involves growing exports and expanding domestic demands from locally produced items by building higher consumption almost at the same time.
For Mr Sekibo, this strategy will work well in Nigeria because the country has the population to soak the pressure.
Speaking at an event organised by The Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt, Rivers State, he also stressed that the government must address security challenges and leadership issues as they remain very critical for the success of the economic model.
At the programme themed What do Nigerians Want,? Mr Sekibo said, “On a higher note, I think one of the things that we need to achieve as a country is the issue of functional and value-adding identity management, which is still far away from us, although, some people know that we have BVN, NIMC and a few other identity capture systems they have not been as functional and value-adding, like the social security number that most people in advanced economies carry.”
The Heritage Bank chief, who was represented by the Divisional Head of Strategy and Business Solutions of the bank, Mr Segun Akanji, further explained that to achieve a prosperous economy, Nigeria needs to find ways and means by policies to build a dual circulation economy which thrives on three pillars.
According to him, the country needs to focus on building a dual circulation economy where it can expand domestic production and demand by making sure that the masses are employed.
“We need to make our people productive and stop putting subsidies in unproductive zones. When you give subsidies to people with inadequate or no income, they really cannot add value to the economy, and money has a way of flowing away due to the import of consumables from other countries and because of this, a larger portion of every consumption or cash given as subsidy gets out of the country,” Mr Sekibo stated while delivering a paper titled The Economy Nigeria Needs to Break Forth.
The bank’s helmsman further explained that to expand the domestic production, the government must give the private sector support to drive employment creation, technology, which is riding on innovation and manufacturing must be in place and, the population which is an added advantage must be well educated.
He highlighted the need to examine how the country could add value to primary production for global export, emphasizing on reduction of over-dependence on foreign markets but rather increasing local production for export, whilst also increasing demand for local products.
Mr Sekibo further affirmed that if states could function as proper federating units and take the lead of the competitive comparative advantages therein, wealth creation would be achieved that would bring about the desired changes.
Also speaking at the event, the former Governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, agreed with Mr Sekibo that the country must address the issues of insecurity and leadership deficiency in order to prosper.
He lamented the huge indebtedness of the country, which he blamed on unproductivity due to the inimical situation of a high unemployment rate resulting in over 80 million Nigerians being jobless.
According to him, cumulative failure of the government over the years plunged Nigeria into insecurity, noting that other factors include the failure to migrate from sharing formula to production formula and lack of will to transform the power sector and the need to focus and support the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
On his part, a clergyman, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, harped on the need for leadership change, arguing that what the country needs now are leaders who have a vision and are ready to sacrifice for the common man, stating, “things must be done differently”.
Also speaking, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo submitted that the police, power provision and railway must be decentralised as this will make states to be less dependence on the centre.
He maintained that regions are closer to the people and will boost security, the economy and the sense of belonging by the populace. He also identified data and planning as key factors in ensuring that programmes are tailored towards the people.
$13bn Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline to Boost Nigeria’s Gas Exports
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria is set to boost its gas development initiative through exports to Europe after reaching a new milestone in further opening the domestic and regional gas market via the construction of the multi-billion Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) alongside Algeria and Niger.
The oil ministers of the three countries — Mr Mahamane Sani Mahamadou, Minister of Petroleum for the Republic of Niger, Mr Mohamed Arkab, Minister of Energy and Mines, Algeria, and Mr Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources of Nigeria as well as the Director Generals of national oil companies (NOCs) of the three African countries met to discuss the implementation of the TSGP on June 20, 2022, in Abuja.
During the meeting, which follows the signing of the Niamey Declaration during the 3rd Forum of the Economic Community of West African States in February 2022, parties established a task force and roadmap for the development of the TSGP.
It was disclosed that the TSGP project will mark a new era of improved regional cooperation in Africa, enhancing gas monetization and exports while scaling up exports to Europe via Algeria.
Not only will the $13 billion project drive socioeconomic growth by unlocking massive investments across the energy sector, but it will also help create jobs in various industries including energy, petrochemicals and manufacturing whilst optimizing energy production and positioning Africa as a global energy hub.
A steering committee made up of the three Ministers and Director Generals of the NOCs, established during the two-day meeting, will be responsible for updating the feasibility study for TSGP and will meet at the end of July 2022 in Algiers to discuss how to progress with the TSGP project.
With energy poverty increasing across the African continent due to limited investments in energy projects, delays in exploration, production and infrastructure rollout, the COVID-19 pandemic, and global energy transition-related policies, the TSGP project will bring in a new era of energy reliability for Africa.
With the 4,128 km pipeline running from Warri in Nigeria to Hassi R’Mel in Algeria via Niger, the pipeline will not only create a direct connection between Nigeria and Algeria’s gas fields to European markets but will bring significant benefits to Nigeria.
The pipeline will enable up to 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas to be traded yearly enhancing regional and international energy trade.
With gas emerging as the energy of the future, the TSGP project will play a critical role in positioning Nigeria, alongside Algeria and Niger, at the forefront of the energy transition.
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