The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported that Nigeria spent N19.12 trillion on imported commodities from China in less than four years – from January 2018 to September this year.
Economists have seen the deepening Chinese influence in the local market as a huge drain and cost on the ailing domestic economy as imports constitute leakages on any economy.
Sadly, Nigeria’s trade relations with China reflect the widespread imbalance the Southeast Asian country is known for. Within the referenced period, Nigeria exported a paltry N2.09 trillion worth of commodities to China, putting the trade deficit at N17.03 trillion.
In each of the quarters in the four years, China accounted for 27 per cent of Nigeria’s total imports, leading the country’s second top trading partner, India, and other top trading partners with a wide margin, in each of the years.
The first quarter of this year (Q1,2021) showed a N2 trillion import bill on goods freighted in China and moved across the sea to an import-dependent Nigeria. The figure is about three times the value of imports from the Netherlands, which was second to China on Nigeria’s import partner index.
The Asian giant held 29.3 per cent of the value of the country’s total imports, which totaled N6.85 trillion in the quarter.
Data sourced from a joint platform of the China Africa Research Initiative and John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, yesterday, show that the value of Nigeria’s imports from China has increased by at least 400 per cent in the last decade – from 2009 to 2019 – and by 4,200 per cent in the last two decades stretching from 1999 to 2019.