The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has said that Nigeria’s non-oil exports are declining amid a worsening foreign exchange crisis. According to the report released last Friday, Nigeria’s non-oil exports have fallen by 39% from N6.914trillion to N4.194trillion in the last 10 years.

The report contained in the NBS’s Foreign Trade Statistics specifically stated that the N4.194trillion non-oil exports recorded in 2021 was 39.34% lower than the N6.914trillion non-oil exports recorded in 2012.

Total exports in 2012 amounted to N22.446trillion. Out of this number, N15.53trillion was crude oil export while N6.914thn was non-oil exports.  The non-oil exports comprised 30.8%of the total exports that year.

However, in 2021 Nigeria’s total exports were estimated at N19.057trillion, with the non-oil segment occupying N4.194trillion. The non-oil exports comprised 22.07% of the total exports last year.

The financial analysis of the National Bureau of Statistics’ Foreign Trade Statistics between 2012 and 2021 on Friday showed the levels of growth of the non-oil exports and the shares of its contribution to the nation’s total exports over the period.

The data revealed that the non-oil exports’ share of total exports was highest at 30.8 per cent in 2012 and lowest at 11.86 per cent in 2015.

Manufacturers have said the decline in the non-oil sector is an indication that critical issues in the industry are yet to be resolved.

Non-oil exports are defined as the export of products and commodities that are neither crude oil nor minerals. They involve the export of agricultural commodities such as cocoa and cashew nuts; the export of finished products such as aluminium and plastics; and the export of capital goods such as machines and their parts.

The share of oil or non-oil export to total exports indicates how much Nigeria depends on crude oil or non-oil products for its foreign exchange earnings.

Breaking down the numbers

In 2012, total exports amounted to N22.446tn. Out of this number, N15.531 tn was crude oil while N6.914tn was non-oil export. The non-oil export comprised 30.8per cent of the total exports that year.

In the following year, 2013, total exports were estimated at N14.245tn, with oil occupying N11.808 trillion and non-oil, N2.437tn. Non-oil exports shared only 17.11 per cent of the total exports within the year.

In 2014, total exports were estimated at N17.203tn; crude oil export comprised N12.791tn, while non-oil exports were estimated at N4.412tn. The share of the non-oil exports to the total exports within the year rose to25.7 per cent but was still less than the 2012’s figure.

In 2015, total exports dropped to N9.728tn, with crude comprising N8.574tn and non-oil sharing the rest N1.154tn. The non-oil export share that year constituted 11.9 per cent.

In 2016, total exports amounted to N8.527 trillion, with non-oil comprising N1.530 trillion, representing 17.95%. Crude oil shared the rest.

Total exports in 2017 stood at an estimated N13.591trillion, but non-oil exports totaled N1.620trillion, representing 11.92%. The rest represented crude oil exports.

On the other hand, in 2018, total exports were estimated at N19.033trillion; whereas non-oil exports in that year amounted to N2.786trillion, representing a share of 14.64%.

Total exports reached N19.190trillion in 2019, with the non-oil export segment of N4.052trillion, representing 21.12% share of total exports for the year.

Amidst the lockdowns and international restrictions of COVID-19, total exports slowed to N12.429trillion, with the non-oil exports standing at N1.328trillion, representing a 10.69% share.

The fortunes of the non-oil export sector looked up in 2021. Total exports were estimated at N19.057trillion, with the non-oil segment standing at N4.194trillion, representing 22.07%.

Nigeria’s non-oil export earnings are insignificant when compared with other emerging economies. In dollar terms, the total value of Nigeria’s non-oil exports in 2021 was $10.083billion.

Nigeria’s exports are mainly non-manufactured goods. Apart from crude oil and gas, Nigeria’s non-oil exports are dominated by raw materials and agricultural commodities.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, non-oil exports were dominated by urea, cocoa, sesame seeds, and aluminium alloys. In the previous quarter of the same year, the situation was the same.

In the second quarter of 2021, agricultural products and raw materials dominated non-oil exports, trumping manufactured products which came fifth in the non-oil export segment within the quarter.

The implication is that Nigeria exports raw materials to countries that produce finished goods, who then re-export the finished goods back to Nigeria.

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