The Nigeria's oil, gas, solid minerals and energy sectors recorded over N861.67 billion worth of products importation during the first quarter of 2018, according to the latest foreign trade statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics.The data released on Tuesday, showed that the value of oil products imported in first quarter of 2018 was N846.31 billion, representing 122.70 per cent higher than then value in fourth quarter of 2017.
Solid minerals products stood at N12.62 billion, representing a decrease of 17.27 per cent compared to the preceding quarter.Energy goods imported into the country in first quarter 2018 were N32.4 million and this is lower than fourth quarter of 2017, which was N138.1 million. Similarly, Nigeria's total imports value was N2.518 trillion in first quarter, 2018, representing 19.22 per cent higher than N2.112 trillion recorded during the fourth quarter of 2017.
The value of imported agricultural goods in the first quarter of 2018 declined at N184.49 billion from N227.49 billion recorded in fourth quarter of 2018. Raw materials imports in first quarter 2018 at N284.81 billion grew by 1.93 per cent compared to N279.41 billion in fourth quarter of 2017.
The value of manufactured goods imported in first quarter 2018 declined by 1.65 per cent to settle at N1,189.97 billion.According to NBS, the total value of Nigeria's external trade in goods amounted to N7.211 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, which is a growth of N1.188 trillion or 19.74 per cent from the N6.022 trillion recorded in the last quarter of 2017.
The total trade value in first quarter 2018 also showed a 35.07 per cent growth compared to the amount of N5.339 billion recorded in same quarter of last year.The trade balance in first quarter, 2018 was N2.175 trillion, which increased by 20.95 per cent from the last quarter in 2017, and 221.08 per cent over the same quarter in 2017.
NBS said that the significant increase of trade balance in the reviewing quarter was driven by the stronger growth in exports compared to imports.The agency disclosed that the total value of export in the quarter under review was N4.693.3 billion, representing a 20.02 per cent growth over the fourth quarter of 2017 and a 56.01 per cent growth compared to the first quarter in 2017. Likewise, the total import component in the first quarter, which is N2.518 trillion, also recorded a growth of 19.22 per cent on a quarter on quarter basis.
Speaking recently on importation of food into the country, President Muhammadu Buhari said that Nigeria will continue to pursue a strategic food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimization of import dependency.
As a result, he said that rice importation from other countries has been cut down by 90 per cent, which he said has a direct impact on foreign reserves.In the area of power generation, the President said that Nigerians from all parts of the country continue to report better power supply and less of generators. This, he said, underscores the effectiveness of the methodical plan to deliver incremental and uninterrupted power supply to homes, market, offices and factories.