- Nigeria’s Cargo Imports Grow by 21% in H1 2019
Cargo importation from US, Asia, Europe and other parts of the world into Nigeria rose substantially in the first half of the year, data from the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company and Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO)showed.
NAHCO and SAHCO handle about 95 percent of all export and import cargoes through Nigerian airports. Therefore, this report is based on the data collected from the two companies.
Checks revealed that volumes of cargo through NAHCO and SAHCO rose by 21 percent from 27,239,029.6kg recorded last year to 33,205,954.39kg in June 2019.
Experts in the industry attributed the increase to the stability in the foreign exchange market during the first part of the year. Businesses were able to up import materials due to improved access to foreign exchange.
“Since the introduction of investors and exporters window last two years, there has been stability in foreign exchange rate,” a source at Customs said.
Exports through the two companies fell by 25 percent from 5,524,953.1kg in 2018 to 4,116,243.1kg in the first half of 2019, suggesting that government efforts at encouraging local production have not started yielding results as expected.
A break down of the data gathered shows that air cargo exports declined by 28 percent from 5,201,229.10kg in 2018 to 3,696,940.10kg.
Again, On air cargo imports rose 17 percent from 14,384,540.6kg in 2018 to 16,906,938.39kg in 2019.
According to Emeka Enenanah, head of operations, NAHCO “exporters are majorly small scale business owners and farmers which constitute small players in the economy. This is rainy season and farmers are just harvesting now, so in the next two or three months we expect exports to pick up because Nigerians export mostly agro products.”
In April, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said the country has recorded a total forex inflow of $35 billion through the autonomous I&E Window alone in the last 24 months.
Therefore, because foreign reserves pressure was greatly reduced, the Central Bank was able to maintain Naira’s stability across all foreign exchange window.
Some of the commodities exported were palm oil, vegetables (fresh/dry), melon (egusi), ‘ogbono’ seeds, ‘cashew nut’, ginger and garlic. Others include zobo leaves, yam, plantain, pepper, cocoa, bitter cola, cola nut, garri, dried fish, yam flour, cassava flour, plantain flour, cocoyam, vegetables and various kinds of fruit, said Seyi Adewale, chief commercial officer, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company plc.