The total value of goods imported into Nigeria in the third quarter of 2020 stood at N5.381 trillion, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
This was 33.77 percent higher than the N4.023 trillion recorded in the second quarter and 38.02 percent better than the same quarter of 2019. This is the highest imports since 2017. So far this year, Nigeria’s total value of imports stood at N13.909 trillion.
During the same quarter, export value accounted for N2.993 trillion of the total trade, representing a 34.85 percent increase when compared to the amount filed in Q2, 2020 and a decrease of 43.41 percent compared to the third quarter of 2019. Also, this is the lowest of any quarter since 2017.
“Due to lower exports and higher imports compared to 2019, the trade balance recorded a deficit of N2,388.5billion during the third quarter. This also represents the widest merchandise trade deficit since 2017. When compared to the deficit of N1,803.3 billion recorded in Q2, the Q3 deficit rose by 32.45%,” NBS stated.
In the third quarter, the total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade stood at N8.374 trillion, representing an increase of 34.15 percent from the second quarter and a decline of 8.85 percent when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2019.
Despite the Federal Government’s efforts at stimulating local production, Nigeria continues to depend on imports for most of its consumptions. Crude oil accounted for 81.02 percent or N2.42 trillion of the nation’s total exports while non-crude oil exports and non-oil exports constituted 7.17 percent or N568.18 billion and N214.65 billion, respectively.
Nigeria’s largest exporting partners were India, Spain, Netherlands, South Africa and Turkey with 16.73 percent, 10.97 percent, 7.61 percent, 6.81 percent and 5.01 percent, respectively.
China remains Nigeria’s largest importing partner with 30.51 percent of the nation’s total import coming from the world’s second-largest economy. The United States came second with 8.96 percent. This was followed by the Netherlands (8.24 percent), India (6.58 percent) and Belgium (3.95 percent).
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Access Holdings Posts 52.6% Profit for the First Half of the Year
Parent Company of Access Bank Celebrates Remarkable Financial Performance in H1’23
Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Access Bank, has reported a 58.9 percent surge in gross revenue to N940.3 billion for the first half of 2023.
The financial services giant also recorded remarkable growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) and Profit After Tax (PAT) at 71.4 percent and 52.6 percent, respectively, culminating in N167.6 billion for PBT and N135.4 billion for PAT during the same period.
These financial milestones were unveiled as part of Access Holdings’ Audited Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements for the period concluding on June 30, 2023.
The driving force behind this unprecedented growth can be attributed to a potent combination of factors. A 63.0 percent growth in interest income and a 51.9 percent increase in non-interest income fueled the surge in gross revenue.
Access Holdings also witnessed a 35 percent year-to-date growth in customer deposits, capping the first half of 2023 at an impressive N12.5 trillion. This remarkable achievement encompassed all business segments, reinforcing the Group’s status as Nigeria’s largest financial institution by total assets.
The company’s total assets grew by 39.0 percent year-on-year to N20.9 trillion while shareholders’ funds surged by 40.6 percent to N1.7 trillion.
These astounding figures underline the Group’s ability to generate value from a diversified business portfolio, spanning banking, asset management, and payment services.
Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, commented on the company’s positive performance, saying, “Our growth plans for the African continent remain firm and clear, driven by the strong long-term growth prospects and trade opportunities seen across many of the countries.”
He went on to emphasize the company’s commitment to its 5-year cyclical strategy, stating, “Our primary objective remains to transform Access Holdings Plc into a leading financial and ecosystem player, fostering opportunities for shared prosperity among all stakeholders.”
Naira Struggles as Apex Bank Delays Clearing $10 Billion Forex Debts
The Nigerian economy is facing growing uncertainty as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has yet to fulfill its promise of clearing over $10 billion in foreign exchange debts owed to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
This delay has placed immense pressure on the country’s currency, leading to a challenging situation for both financial institutions and the general public.
Over two weeks ago, the immediate past acting CBN Governor, Folashodun Shonubi, had announced that negotiations on these dollar debts with commercial banks had been concluded and all forex exchange backlogs would be cleared within one to two weeks.
However, multiple top bank executives have revealed that the promise remains unfulfilled, leaving banks in a tight FX liquidity position.
This liquidity crunch has compelled many lenders to temporarily suspend various FX transactions, including school fees and Personal Travel Allowance applications. The situation has also worsened the dollar scarcity at the parallel market, prompting bank customers to turn to the black market to meet their forex needs.
The delay in clearing these forex debts has further eroded confidence in the naira, resulting in a decline in its value to between 990/$ and 995/$ in major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Kano.
Economic experts warn that if the situation persists, it could lead to higher costs of goods and services, causing more businesses to shut down.
Manufacturers, who heavily rely on imported raw materials, fear that the rising costs will lead to unaffordable products and a preference for cheaper imported alternatives.
The appointment of a new CBN Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, comes at a critical time, with the central bank facing significant challenges related to the forex market and currency stability.
As the nation grapples with these economic pressures, it remains to be seen how the new leadership will address these issues and restore confidence in the financial markets.
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