Despite commitments by the federal and state governments to the diversification agenda, Nigeria's exports remain heavily dependent on crude oil, accounting for 85.4 per cent of export transactions in the third quarter (Q3).
While Europe and Asia remain the choice destination for Nigerian exports, trade within Africa in terms of exports, stood at N341.1billion or 47.69 per cent to ECOWAS member states.
Exports by country of destination showed that Nigeria exported goods mainly to India, Spain, France, South Africa, and Netherlands; in values worth N764.9 billion or 15.76 per cent, N522.1 billion or 10,76 per cent, N500.31billion or 10.31 per cent, N335.28 billion or 6.9 per cent, and N276.37 billion or 5.69 per cent respectively.
These five countries accounted for 49.43 per cent of the total exports in Q3, 2018.
Indeed, Nigeria's external trade, according to the latest merchandise trade data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for Q3, totalled N9.025 trillion, representing a rise of 30.7 per cent or N2.12 trillion, from N6.90 trillion recorded in the second quarter.
Although the total export component of this trade stood at N4.85 trillion, representing increase of 7.8 per cent over Q2, and 35.7 per cent year-on-year to Q3, 2017, Crude oil exports was N4.14 trillion in Q3 and remained the majority of total exports.
Non-oil exporters had told The Guardian that the possibility of experiencing a revamped non-oil sector before year end appears elusive going by the lingering challenges, and government's inability to implement key incentives needed to stimulate the sector's operations.
The import component stood at N 4.17 trillion during the period in review, showing 73.8 per cent higher than Q2.
Exports by section revealed that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products which accounted for N4.70 trillion or 97.04 per cent of the total value of exports, followed by prepared food stuff, beverages, spirits and vinegar, which accounted for N34.5 billion or 0.7 per cent of the total export.
In the third quarter, Nigeria exported most products to Europe, Asia, and America, which accounted for N2.03 trillion or 41.9 per cent, N1.36 trillion or 28.0 per cent, and 727.03 or 14.97 per cent respectively.
Furthermore, the country exported goods worth N715.1 billion or 14.73 per cent to Africa, and N16.04 billion or 0.33 per cent to Oceania.
According to the NBS, the rise in importation was due to the importation of submersible drilling platforms in August, which was quite expensive and of course occasional importation.
In the same way, there was a rise of 67.7 per cent when compared with the import value of the corresponding quarter in 2017.
The huge increase in import value during the quarter, resulted into a decrease in Nigeria's trade balance from N2,103.4 billion in Q2 to N681.3billion in Q3 representing a decrease of 67.6 per cent.
The year-to-date total trade amounted to N23.14 trillion.
The trade in agricultural goods in Q3 stood at N269.7 billion or 2.99 per cent of the total trade.
The Export component of this trade was valued at N45.4billion compared to N85.9 billion recorded in the previous quarter, indicating a decrease of 47.20 per cent.