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Nigeria Trade Deficit Rises to N184.1 billion in Q1

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trade deficit

Nigeria’s trade value plunged in the first quarter of the year to N2,72tn from N3,51tn recorded in the preceding quarter, this was 22.6 percent less than what was obtained in the final quarter of 2015, National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) reported on Tuesday.

According to the NBS report, this development was as a result of a sharp decline in both exports and imports goods, exports reportedly declined 34.6 percent quarter-on-quarter and 52.3 percent year-on-year, while imports dropped by 7.8 percent in the first quarter and 15.8 percent year-on-year. This abrupt decline in the export value plunged the country’s trade balance to deficit of N184.1bn in the first quarter of the year, making it the first trade deficit in seven years.

The NBS report also shows imports are mainly from Asia, with 23.8 percent of the total imports coming from China. This further affirmed the imperative of Nigeria-China trade agreement if well implemented, it would ease foreign exchange pressure on the US dollar and help attack surging inflation.

The President of National Association of Nigerian Traders, Ken Ukaoha, said other factors also contributed to the development.

“We have for so long remained import-dependent; we have also continued to cultivate a mono product economy, which is oil, and our earnings from oil is presently disappointing. Apart from the fact that the price of oil is depreciating, you also find out that the quantity of our export is going so terribly low as a result of vandalism.” Ukaoha said.

He further stated “We are talking about import substitution, but all the strategies needed there are not in place. Also, the delay in the passage of the budget made all the private sector operators who are major players in exports to relax waiting for the budget passage in order to know the next line of action.”

While other economists said the negative balance of trade would impacts other areas of the economy as external reserves would deplete further.

“The implication of a negative trade balance for a country that does not have invisible imports is that we are going to have a severe negative balance of payment; the implication of this is that our external reserves will deplete further because we will need to use much of it to pay for imports,” said Johnson Chukwu, the Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Job Opportunities for Npower Exited Beneficiaries

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Aussie Job-Market

Jobs Npower Exited Beneficiaries Can Start

Following the Federal Government’s decision to let go of Batch A and B beneficiaries of the N-power program, it is important they engage in something productive and viable now that their monthly stipend has been stopped.

Investors King, that has been advocating for permanent placement for both exited batches, has compiled jobs exited beneficiaries can start doing or learn to do pending when the government will finalise their plans for permanent placement if they ever will.

First is self-assessment, what skills do you have or what do you have passion for? You need to know your strengths and weaknesses to venture into our list of businesses as it would help you better navigate the usual challenges that come with startups or self-employment. Nobody said is going to be a walk in the park.

Also, a lot of exited beneficiaries have skills they have not monetised or don’t know how to turn them to money just yet. Therefore, it is imperative to conduct a personal evaluation before venturing into another training when this set of people can focus on monetizing present skills. Please note that it does not matter what kind of skill you have, everything is sellable with the right strategy and approach.

Here is a list of jobs exited beneficiaries can start.

Freelancing

There are several Nigerians freelancing for businesses abroad and are earning a reasonable amount, especially with the Naira-dollar exchange rate at N386 (bank rate) and N465 on the black market.

How Can You Become a Freelancer

This is why I said self-assessment is imperative as you will need a skill to sell to potential clients in order to earn money online. The easiest, perhaps the most common is writing articles and creating content for businesses that are looking for creative writers to craft a unique content or tell a story that sells their brands better.

However, there are other jobs like administrative role, where you work with businesses or become a Personal Assistant to an executive person and help them with administration, like get there schedules right, remind them of appointments, fill orders, call clients, send emails, reply emails and do other administrative jobs for a salary. Please note that while this seems easy it is not as most of these businesses and executives prefer persons that are conversant with excels (expert level), ms word, google documents, pdf to word conversion etc.

Also, there are freelance jobs for graphic designers, app developers, programmers, web developers etc. if you already have the skills and if not, you may want to get one.

How Do You Apply for Jobs or Register for Offers

Open an account on any or all of the listed websites with a unique profile that sells your offerings.

www.upwork.com

www.Fiverr.com

www.Freelancer.com

Currency Exchange

This is perhaps the easiest niche exited Npower beneficiaries with little cash can get into and start making money because of the huge demand.

First, what is currency exchange? A currency exchange business is a business that sells and buys currencies. However, in this case, we are buying and selling digital currencies but the concept is not different from the regular bureau de change but easier given that all you need is your phone and to set up an account on free forums or join groups were people trade digital currencies like Bitcoin, Perfect Money, Payoneer, PayPal, etc without regulatory approval. It is a peer-to-peer business.

Like I always say, your biggest money is in the informal sector also known as the underground economy or gray economy. It is gray because despite its huge potential, it is not classified as a normal source of income. The next question is how do you get involved.

How to Start a Currency Exchange Business

Open bitcoin wallets on blockchain, LocalBitcoins and other bitcoin wallets. Also, open a perfect money account and set up a Paypal that can send and receive money in Nigeria (contact me on how to open it).

If you already have an account on Nairaland join currency exchange thread or sign up to join the forum so you can participate in trading. Also, join various chat groups of currency traders and post on your WhatsApp status, you will be shocked at the number of people that deals in digital currencies or those looking to sell their earnings from Fiverr and Upwork. I buy from them too and pay them in Naira.

Mini-restaurant

To be self-employed, you have to be creative. A lot of unemployed graduates think they need a shop or fancy space to get started. However, what I found out is that you only need your present space, yes that current place you live!.

Do a feasibility study to assess your vicinity and bridge the gap between eating out and having nicely prepared food delivered at home within a few minutes.

I discovered that most people that eat out, especially during this raining season won’t mind home delivery with extra cost.

Also, note that you do not need millions, you need just a few thousand to do flyers, buy takeaway packs and ingredients. Gbam off you go!.

Laundry Service

This is one of the easiest services to start but can be a bit tough without a washing machine. Still, if you are not scared to wash jeans, clothes and even rug this might be it for you.

As important, simple and in demand as dry cleaning service is, it is not readily available in most localities. Therefore, Npower exited beneficiaries can address this need by adding a little bit of class to the traditional dry cleaning service and make adjustments as they evolve in the business.

Forex Trading

Foreign exchange trading is the world’s largest market with over $5 trillion daily turnovers. Yes, you’ve heard that much before but also it is the most complicated and tough market to trade if you do not have the right instructor to walk you through market complexity.

However, this same complicated market holds numerous potential and after almost 20 years in the global financial market, I can tell you with the right training, discipline and dedication you can earn a living from foreign exchange trading.

If you want to learn how to trade forex ‘PROFESSIONAlly’, please note the word professionally, get in touch with me. I used the word professionally because the name forex has been bastardised in Nigeria, therefore, undermining the numerous opportunities in the forex market.

I will not just teach you how to trade but teach you how to be a real student/analyst of the market. This will give you an opportunity to be both an analyst and also a trader like myself and work for companies like investorsking, nairametrics, businessday, etc if you enjoy breaking down market complexity in a unique way. A clue, Nigeria has a lot of journalists but not a lot of business analysts/ writers that are now in demand.

You can contact me via samed@investorsking.com.

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Julius Berger Diversifies into Agro-processing

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Julius Berger Steps into Agro-processing to Seize Diversification Opportunity

Julius Berger, a leading construction company in Nigeria, said its board of directors has approved a diversification opportunity for the firm in agro-processing.

The approval was done at a meeting held on September 22, the company stated in a statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Julius Berger said the approval would help the company capitalised on diversification opportunities in the agro-processing industry, especially with the emerging developments in Nigeria and government ongoing reforms to make the nation self-sufficient.

The statement read in part: “We would advise the exchange and the capital market that the Board of Julius Berger at its meeting held on September 22, 2020 approved a diversification opportunity for the company in agro-processing.

“The Board of Directors and the executive management of Julius Berger strongly believes that this diversification direction would support the continued success of the group in the future and align with the strategic objective of the government to stimulate value creation in Nigeria.

However, Julius Berger reiterated its commitment to maintaining and strengthening its leadership in the nation’s construction sector.

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Some Nigerians Are Charging Ship Owners Illegal $36,000 Per Month for Secure Anchorage

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Ship Aveon Offshore

Ship Owners Are Paying Illegal $36,000 Per Month for Secure Anchorage in Nigeria

Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, on Thursday said certain people are charging ship owners illegal $1,200 per day for secure anchorage in Nigeria.

The minister registered his displeasure with continuous patronage of illegal harbours known within the circle as secure anchorage areas.

Amaechi, who spoke at the ‘2020 World Maritime Day Celebration which held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos’ said the issue was unsettling.

He said, “There is a crisis in the maritime sector. The crisis is on the issue of security.

“Today, we have a single individual partnering with the military that is collecting $1,200 to the detriment of shipping companies.

“That one individual is still managing the business with support of other institutions.”

The minister also accused stakeholders of doing nothing to these individuals, saying only the government had the right to step up secure anchorage area

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