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Nigeria: trade and trade-related issues

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Nigeria: trade and trade-related issues

Nigeria: trade and trade-related issues

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The objective of this paper is to provide information on Nigeria and its merchandise trading profile and regime. Nigeria is a middle-income country with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of around $265 billion, a figure the same as Egypt’s but below South Africa’s $385 billion.

However, in early 2014 Nigeria rebased its GDP calculations for new estimates that put Nigeria’s GDP in 2013 at $510 billion, an 89% increase on the estimates at that time. The revision means Nigeria leapfrogs South Africa to be Africa’s largest economy. It rises to 24th in the list of the world’s big economies, behind Poland and Norway and ahead of Belgium and Taiwan.

Oil-rich Nigeria has been hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and poor macroeconomic management, but in 2008 it began pursuing economic reforms. Nigeria’s former military rulers failed to diversify the economy away from its over-dependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings and about 80% of budgetary revenues.

However, since 2008 the government has begun to show the political will to implement the market-oriented reforms urged by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), such as modernising the banking system, removing subsidies, and resolving regional disputes over the distribution of earnings from the oil industry. GDP rose strongly in 2007-12 because of growth in non-oil sectors and robust global crude oil prices. Nigeria ranks tenth in the world for oil production and eighth as an oil exporter, leading Africa in both production and exports.

The 2012 World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade data shows that during 2012 exports were valued at $115,000 million while imports were a much lower $51 000 million. Exports increased by 12% during the 2005-2012 period while imports increased by a slightly higher 14%. In 2012 the annual changes were reversed and exports had a 1% increase while imports decreased by 9%. Oil products completely dominate exports while manufacturing products equally dominate the imports.


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