Nigeria’s Exports Dip by 40% Over Oil Price Plunge

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According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, exports slid by 40.3 per cent last year after a fall in crude prices slashed government’s revenues, weakened the currency and caused the economy to grow at its slowest pace in decades.

NBS said with limited manufacturing capacity, Nigeria imports most of what it consumes, and last year imports fell 9.2 per cent, adding that the decline helped mitigate a trade balance.

The balance of trade for 2015 was N3.03 trillion, down from N8.93 trillion, a year earlier ($15.2 billion – $44.9 billion).

“This development arose largely due to a sharp decline in the value of exports. The structure of Nigeria’s exports is dominated by crude,” the NBS said.

Nigeria’s exports dropped by 29.7 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year ago and imports declined 22.4 per cent, the NBS said. The fall in crude oil exports, which accounted for 71.4 per cent of total domestic exports last year, hit the economy the most.

The nation’s economy slowed in 2015 to grow at 2.8 per cent, its slowest growth in decades, down from 6.2 per cent in 2014, as currency controls introduced by the central bank last year to support the naira, as oil prices plunged, started to hurt growth.

The dollar restrictions caused inflation to jump in February, rising to almost a three-and-half-year high while forcing lenders to delay hard currency loan and trade repayments to foreign bank.

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