Nigeria is on course for its fourth consecutive year of trade surplus which is welcome news for the stability of the Naira. National Bureau of Statistics data was released on 7 June which showed that Q1 of 2019 recorded a positive trade balance of ‎₦831.6 billion (US$2.3 billion). Total exports for Q1 were valued at ‎₦4.5 trillion (US$12.5 billion) while imports were ‎₦3.7 trillion (US$10.3 billion) which resulted in the trade surplus.

Crude oil and other oil related products accounted for 96.6% of exports in this period, which illustrates the overwhelming extent to which Nigeria remain highly dependent on crude oil exports. Oil price falls or disturbances in the oil rich Niger Delta region could quickly cancel out the positive balance and threaten .

It is also an indication that the efforts toward trade diversification, which President Muhammadu Buhari has been chasing over the past three years, have not yet gained traction. Despite promises to ramp up the country’s manufacturing and agricultural base, non-oil exports account for just 3.4% of exports in the period.

  • India, Spain, Netherlands, South Africa and France are the main destinations for the country’s exports.
  • Imports are mainly from China, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), the US, India and Netherlands.
  • China accounts for 26.4% of all imports compared to 8.8% of imports from the US.

This excerpt is taken from Nigeria Politics & Security, our weekly intelligence report on the region. Click here if you would like to receive a free sample.