At N996.8 billion Nigeria’s manufactured goods exports recorded a significant increase in the third quarter of the year, which experts attribute to foreign exchange policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the increase was driven by export of Cable sheaths of Iron and steel valued at N750.3billion and floating and submersible drilling platforms valued at N117.4billion, both exported to Ghana. The increase also came from Vessels and other floating structures for breaking up worth N41.7 billion was exported to Cameroon, it said.
Figures indicate that the value of total exports in Q3, 2019 stood at N5.288trilion representing a 15.02 percent increase compared to the previous quarter.
Crude oil component amounted to N3.7478 trillion (70.84%) of total exports during the period under review while non-crude oil export grew significantly in Q3, 2019 and was valued at N1.5407 trillion (29.13%).
“Increase recorded was due to the re-exports of high value Cable Sheaths of Iron, as well as submersible drilling platform, Vessels and other floating structures, transportation equipment; petroleum & coal products; furniture & related products; electrical equipment; plastics & rubber products; food, beverage & tobacco products; nonmetallic mineral products; printing & related support activities; cement; fabricated metal products; primary metal; chemical & pharmaceutical products; and textile, apparel, leather & footwear,” NBS reported.
The NBS figures apparently confirms CBN’s Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index in the month of November, which stood at 59.3 index points, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the thirty-second consecutive month.
The index grew at a faster rate when compared to the index in October, the CBN had noted in the report.
Also, at 60.1 points, the production level index for manufacturing sector grew for the thirty-third consecutive month in November, indicating a faster growth as against its level in October 2019.
Speaking with Businessday, Chijioke Ekechukwu, former Director-General, Abuja Chamber of Commerce, attributed the increase to the government policies as well as the stable exchange rate which has promoted exportation of locally produced goods in the country.
He said that the government in the last four years has heightened efforts through the central bank’s policy as well the national export promotion council to promote exportation and improve the balance of trade.
“In the last four years we have had the government undertake programmes aimed at boosting the small and medium enterprise, through financing, and trainings to improve the standard of our local production,” he said.
“The exchange rate has been a major factor that is driving the exports as the stable exchange rate is to the advantage of export trade,” he added.
He noted that prior to this period, Nigeria’s products suffered rejection and under-pricing, but that now they are accepted because the Nigerian Export Promotion Council trains entrepreneurs to improve the standard of goods produced in the country.
Exports in other sectors recorded slight declines as the report shows that the value of crude oil exports was 4.79 percent lower than in Q2 2019 and 9.62 percent lower than Q3 2018. While the value of Other oil products exports rose by 6.14percent in Q3 2019 against Q2, 2019 but fell by 15.19 percent relative to Q3, 2018.
Similarly, the value of agricultural exports decreased by 42.69 percent in Q3 2019 relative to Q2, 2019, while the value of raw material goods exports in Q3, 2019 decreased by 5.74 percent in Q3,2019 against Q2, 2019 and 8.84 percent against Q3 2018.
“The value of solid minerals as well as energy goods, exports decreased by 17.08 percent and 40.06 percent respectively, in the quarter under review,” the report said.
On the import side, the report shows that value of total imports decreased 2.70 percent in Q3 compared to Q2, 2019, and 7.47 percent relative to the corresponding quarter of 2018.
“The value of imported agricultural products was 4.01 percent lower than in Q2, 2019, but 7.21 percent higher than Q3, 2018, also the value of raw material imports decreased 4.64 percent in Q3,2019 relative to Q2, 2019 but increased 16.81percent when compared to Q3 2018,” it added.