The efforts by the Federal Government to discourage total dependence on importation is yielding result as the aggregate imports declined by 20.5 percent to $12.79 billion in fourth quarter of 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
The apex bank attributed the decline to the continued effects of the on-going reforms in the petroleum sub-sector.
The External Sector Development Report for the fourth quarter of 2012 released by the CBN showed that Nigeria’s trade balance improved by 56.6 percent from $7.29 billion in quarter four 2011 to $11.42 billion in fourth quarter 2012. It stood at $10.93 billion in third quarter 2012.
Furthermore, aggregate exports rose by 3.5 percent from $23.39 billion in quarter four 2011 to $24.21 billion in quarter four 2012 but declined relative to its level in quarter three 2012 by 0.8 percent.
However, the level of official foreign reserves as at end-December 2012 stood at $43.83 billion as against $40.64 and $32.64 billion in quarter three 2012, and quarter four 2011, respectively.
The external reserves could finance 16.8 months of foreign exchange disbursements and 11.3 months of imports compared with 15.1 months of foreign exchange disbursements and 9.9 months of imports recorded in quarter three 2012. The external reserves recorded an accretion of $3.2 billion in quarter four 2012 as against $5.2 billion in quarter three 2012, the CBN report stated.
Analysis of the holdings of external reserves revealed that the share of the CBN holdings stood at 71.0 percent while the share of the federation (comprising the three tiers of government) and Federal Government stood at 26.0 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.