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N4.18tn commodities exported through Apapa Port in Q1

Between January and March this year, commodities worth N4.18tn were exported through the Apapa Port in Lagos, figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed.

An analysis of the foreign trade statistics by our correspondent showed that the N4.18tn worth of exported commodities through the Apapa Port was 89.1 per cent of the total exports recorded by the country in the first quarter of this year.

This was followed by the Port Harcourt port, with total export value of N374.4bn, or 7.98 per cent of the entire commodities exported from the country during the period.

Further analysis showed that the Tin Can Port recorded a total export value of N53.4bn during the three-month period.

The Warri Port recorded a total export value of N10.69bn, while the Seme Border, Idiroko Border and Murtala Mohammed International Airport recorded export values of N3.23bn, N2.32bn and N5bn, respectively.

In terms of the type of products, which the country exported from the ports, findings showed that petroleum oils and crude accounted for the bulk of Nigeria’s total exports, with N3.25tn representing 82.22 per cent of the entire export value.

This was followed by natural gas worth N416.58bn and other petroleum gases at N28.42bn.

Urea had a total export value of N22.63bn; naphthalene, N16.17bn; sesasum seeds, N15.79bn; and cocoa beans, N14.53bn.

Others are petroleum oils, N12.32bn; butanes, N12.3bn; vessels and other floating structures, N9.46bn; electric energy, N9.32bn; cigarettes, N8.9bn; propane, N8.85bn; polyethylene, N8.17bn; and other liquefied petroleum gas and hydrocarbons, N4.81bn.

In terms of country of destination where these commodities were exported to, the Netherlands came top with a total value of N963.47bn during the period.

This was followed by India, with N853.69bn; while Spain, United States, France and South Africa had N391.68bn, N386.92bn, N297.93bn and N196.77bn, respectively.

In the same vein, Nigeria’s exports to Sweden were put at N195.33bn; United Kingdom, N145.63bn; Indonesia, N137.87bn; and Italy, N111.49bn.

Speaking on the development, a former Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mr Rislanudeen Mohammed, said there was a need for policies to support the export of agricultural products.

He advised the Federal Government to address impediments such as poor infrastructure affecting the non-oil export sector of the economy.

Mohammed stated, “We need to focus on policies that support backward and forward integration, and seek to make agriculture as a business rather than just for self-sufficiency.

“Nigeria has huge economic potential outside of the oil sector, which are largely untapped due to the so called Dutch Disease that has for years made us lazy and always relying on a mono product commodity called oil as a source of income, notwithstanding the fact that oil constitutes only 10 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product.”

He added, “There is potential for growth in non-oil exports in most states and virtually all the states have one form of economic competitive advantage or the other.

“For example, virtually the whole of Zamfara State is sitting on gold and diamond, largely untapped with little going to illegal miners.”