Nigerians spent $225million (N71.1bn) on importation of food and beverages for household consumption alone in three months, over 9million more than Ghana’s national economy budget of $216 million(GHC10.9bn) for the first quarter of 2017.
The foreign trade statistics for the last quarter of last year released at the weekend by the National Bureau of statistics (NBS) showed that N346.4 billion was expended in three months importing food and beverage both for industry and household consumption in the fourth quarter of 2016.
A breakdown of the food and beverage Figure shows that imports on processed food accounted for N187.5 billion of which N115.1 was mainly for industry and the balance of N72.3 billion for household consumption.
On the other hand, Primary food and beverage imports stood at N158.9 billion of which N87.8billion was for industry and N71.1billion for household consumption.
For the entire 2016, Food and Beverage accounted for 12.8% of total imports mainly from, China, Belgium, Netherlands, the United States and India.
Furthermore, throughout 2016, Nigeria exported goods worth N8.53 trillion as against goods worth N8.82 trillion the country imported, resulting to a 6.47 per cent trade deficit.
Analysis showed that the N17.43 trillion total trade value recorded last year was higher than the N16.29 trillion recorded in 2015, a year that the country did not record trade deficit because the country exported more than it imported.
Crude oil export value of N6.99 trillion dominated exports from Nigeria throughout 2016 as against N1.53 trillion recorded for non-crude oil export and N344.37 trillion for non-oil exports.
The value of the export trade, according to the report, totaled 2,978.9 billion in Q4, 2016 showing an increase of 656.3 billion or 28.3%, over the value recorded in the preceding quarter.
Also a statement from NBS shows that the total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of Q4, 2016 was N5,286.6 billion. This was 10.6% more than the value of N4,781.1 billion recorded in the preceding quarter. Total export value for Q4 2016 stood at N2,978.9billion, which was 28.3% more than the value of the previous quarter.