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Nigeria Records Strong Trade Surplus in Q1 ’24 as Exports Surge by 51%

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Nigeria achieved a notable trade surplus in the first quarter of 2024, driven by a significant increase in exports.

According to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the total trade value surged by 146% year-on-year to N31.8 trillion in Q1 ’24. On a quarterly basis, the trade value rose by 46%.

The export sector experienced a substantial boost, with total exports increasing by 51% quarter-on-quarter to N19.2 trillion, compared to N12.6 trillion in Q4 ’23.

Imports also saw an increase, rising by 39.6% quarter-on-quarter to N12.6 trillion from N9.1 trillion in the previous quarter. This resulted in a trade surplus of N6.5 trillion in Q1 ’24, a significant increase from the N3.6 trillion recorded in Q4 ’23.

Also, the total trade as a percentage of nominal GDP stood at 54% in Q1 ’24, up from 33% in Q4 ’23.

China was Nigeria’s largest import partner, accounting for N2.9 trillion (23.2% of total imports). Other key import partners included India (N1.1 trillion), the USA (N1.0 trillion), Belgium (N955.9 billion), and the Netherlands (N591.5 billion).

Collectively, these countries represented 52% of Nigeria’s total imports in Q1 ’24. Imports from ECOWAS countries totaled N113 billion, making up 28% of total African imports.

Manufacturing goods led the import categories, representing 45.4% of total imports. Other significant import sectors included oil products (35.2%), raw materials (11.6%), and agriculture (7.3%).

The solid minerals sector, though accounting for just 0.5% of imports, saw a notable year-on-year growth of 59.2%, reaching N71.4 billion in Q1 ’24.

France emerged as Nigeria’s top export destination in Q1 ’24, with exports valued at N2.1 trillion (11.1% of total exports).

Other leading export partners included Spain (N2 trillion), the Netherlands (N1.7 trillion), India (N1.6 trillion), and the United States (N1.3 trillion). Together, these countries accounted for 45.7% of Nigeria’s total exports in the quarter.

Crude oil remained Nigeria’s dominant export, comprising 81% of total exports. The value of crude oil exports grew by 50% quarter-on-quarter to N15.4 trillion, up from N10.3 trillion in Q4 ’23.

According to data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), average crude oil production, including condensates, was 1.54 million barrels per day (mbpd) in Q1 ’24, a slight increase from 1.53 mbpd in Q4 ’23.

Non-oil exports also performed strongly, rising by 54% year-on-year to N3.6 trillion and accounting for 19.2% of total exports.

Key agricultural export commodities included sesamum seeds, superior quality cocoa beans, soybeans, and cashew nuts.

Nigeria’s exports to ECOWAS countries were valued at N1.2 trillion in Q1 ’24, up from N686.7 billion in Q4 ’23, representing 56% of total African exports.

The Apapa Port was the primary hub for exports, with goods worth N18.1 trillion passing through, accounting for 94.3% of total exports. Other significant ports included Tin Can Island (N708.8 billion) and Port Harcourt (N270.9 billion).

The strong trade performance in Q1 ’24 highlights Nigeria’s growing export capabilities and the positive impact of strategic trade partnerships.

The substantial increase in both crude oil and non-oil exports indicates a positive trend for Nigeria’s economy.

Moving forward, a continued focus on diversifying export commodities and strengthening trade relations will be crucial to maintaining this upward trajectory.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Peter Obi Advocates for Full Government Backing of Dangote’s $21bn Refinery Project

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Peter G. Obi

Peter Obi, a prominent Nigerian politician and public figure, has called for unwavering support for the Dangote Refinery amid recent conflicts between Dangote Industries and government agencies.

In a passionate appeal, Obi said the current disputes extend beyond political and personal differences, touching upon the broader interests of Nigeria’s economy and its future prosperity.

In his statement on X.com, Obi highlighted the refinery’s immense potential to drive economic growth and create employment opportunities.

With an estimated annual revenue potential of approximately $21 billion and the capacity to generate over 100,000 jobs, the Dangote Refinery represents a cornerstone of Nigeria’s industrial advancement and economic stabilization.

“The recent challenges faced by Dangote Industries should not overshadow the vital role this enterprise plays in our national economy,” Obi asserted.

“Alhaji Dangote’s contributions are monumental, and it is essential that we rally behind his ventures, particularly the refinery, which is set to make a significant impact on our fuel crisis and foreign exchange earnings.”

The refinery, with its strategic importance, stands as a beacon of hope for Nigeria’s fuel supply and overall economic development.

It is poised to address long-standing issues in the energy sector, provide substantial revenue streams, and enhance the country’s economic resilience. Given these benefits, Obi stressed that any actions hindering the refinery’s operation would be counterproductive.

Obi also commended Alhaji Dangote for his remarkable achievements across various sectors, including cement, sugar, salt, fertilizer, infrastructure, and more.

“Alhaji Dangote embodies patriotism and commitment to Nigeria’s growth. His extensive industrial activities are not only a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit but also a vital contribution to Nigeria’s economic landscape,” he added.

Despite the challenging business environment, Dangote’s diversified industrial investments demonstrate a commitment to Nigeria’s industrialization and job creation.

Obi urged the Federal Government and its agencies to offer full support to Dangote Industries, recognizing the broader economic benefits and the positive impact on national welfare.

“The success of Dangote Industries is intrinsically linked to the success of Nigeria and Africa as a whole. We cannot afford to let such a crucial enterprise falter,” Obi warned. “Every sensible and patriotic government should view enterprises like Dangote Industries as national treasures that deserve robust support and protection.”

Obi’s appeal underscores the critical need for collaboration between the government and private sector leaders to ensure the successful operation of key projects like the Dangote Refinery.

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Dangote Accuses NNPC and Oil Traders of Secret Operations in Malta

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Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, has leveled serious allegations against personnel from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and certain oil traders.

Speaking at a session with the House of Representatives, Dangote claimed that these parties have established a blending plant in Malta, raising concerns about the integrity of Nigeria’s fuel supply.

Dangote described the blending plant as lacking refining capability, instead focusing on mixing re-refined oil with additives to produce lubricants.

“Some of the terminals, some of the NNPC people, and some traders have opened a blending plant somewhere off Malta,” he stated.

He emphasized that these activities are well-known within industry circles.

Addressing the drop in diesel prices, Dangote argued that locally produced diesel, with sulfur content levels of 650 to 700 parts per million (ppm), is superior to imported variants.

He linked numerous vehicle issues to what he described as “substandard” imported fuel.

He called for the House of Representatives to set up an independent committee to investigate fuel quality at filling stations.

“I urge you to take samples from filling stations and compare them with our production line to inform Nigerians accurately,” Dangote insisted.

The accusations come amid an ongoing dispute between the Dangote Refinery and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

Farouk Ahmed, NMDPRA’s chief executive, had previously claimed that local refineries, including Dangote’s, were producing inferior products compared to imports.

Also, the House of Representatives has initiated a probe into allegations that international oil companies are undermining the Dangote Refinery’s operations.

In response to the escalating tensions, Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, intervened by meeting with key stakeholders including Dangote, Ahmed, and other top officials from the Nigerian petroleum regulatory bodies.

The discussions aimed to address claims of monopoly against Dangote, which he has strongly denied, and to ensure that all parties operate transparently and fairly.

This development highlights the complex dynamics within Nigeria’s oil industry. The allegations and subsequent investigations could impact market stability and investor confidence.

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Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote Ready to Sell Refinery to Nigerian Government

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Dangote refinery

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest entrepreneur, has announced his willingness to sell his multibillion-dollar oil refinery to Nigeria’s state-owned energy company, NNPC Limited.

This decision comes amid a growing dispute with key partners and regulatory authorities.

The $19 billion refinery, which began operations last year, is a significant development for Nigeria, aiming to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel.

However, challenges in sourcing crude and ongoing disputes have hindered its full potential.

Dangote expressed frustration over allegations of monopolistic practices, stating that these accusations are unfounded.

“If they want to label me a monopolist, I am ready to let NNPC take over. It’s in the best interest of the country,” he said in a recent interview.

The refinery has faced difficulties with supply agreements, particularly with international crude producers demanding high premiums.

NNPC, initially a supportive partner, has delivered only a fraction of the crude needed since last year. This has forced Dangote to seek alternative suppliers from countries like Brazil and the US.

Despite the challenges, Dangote remains committed to contributing to Nigeria’s economy. “I’ve always believed in investing at home.

This refinery can resolve our fuel crisis,” he stated, urging other wealthy Nigerians to invest domestically rather than abroad.

Recently, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority accused Dangote’s refinery of producing substandard diesel.

In response, Dangote invited regulators and lawmakers to verify the quality of his products, which he claims surpass imported alternatives in purity.

Amidst these challenges, Dangote has halted plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry, citing concerns over monopoly accusations.

“We need to focus on what’s best for the economy,” he explained, emphasizing the importance of fair competition and innovation.

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the potential sale of Dangote’s refinery to NNPC could reshape the nation’s energy landscape and secure its energy independence.

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