Roberts Orya, the Managing Director of Nigeria Export and Import (NEXIM) Bank, has expressed concern about the uncaptured 12 billion dollars worth of informal trade of Nigeria with neighbouring countries.
Orya made the observation during a visit of the South East and South South Professionals led by its President, Mr Emeka Ugwu-Oju.
The managing director, who expressed regret over the low level of intra regional trade in West Africa, said the bank was taking proactive measures to improve on it.
“The level of intra regional trade is still low and the level of informal trade is still high.
“Right now, the level of informal trade is estimated at 12 billion dollars annually.
“It is still above 60 per cent.
“When you look at the volume of trade between Nigeria and neighbouring countries, you will discover the magnitude of trading is not captured.
“That was the kind of problem I had when I came because I began to ask why they are saying that the level of trade in South Africa is higher than Nigeria.
“However, you will discover that the level of informal trade in South Africa is very low, when I tried to find out about this, I discover that we don’t have the data,” he said.
Orya said that the only way by which Nigeria could be properly rated was through statistical data which was lacking.
He said that another challenge to the growth of market was the inability to deepen the payment system.
“The number two problem is that our people have not been able to deepen their own payment system; they sell their goods and collect cash without any record.