The dwindling Nigerian economy under President Muhammadu Buhari has also muzzled the agriculture sector, forcing the country to import N90 billion cane sugar to sustain the country’s sugar refineries in 2021 alone.

SaharaReporters obtained the rate from the Foreign Trade in Goods report for the First quarter of 2021 published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Despite the large hectares of Sugarcane farms which Nigeria used to boast of, the 2021 report revealed that Brazil exported large volumes of cane sugar to Nigeria between January and March 2021, totalling a staggering N88.9 billion.

According to the National Sugar Development Council, Nigeria’s top three sugar refineries are Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar Company Limited, all located in Lagos State.

The NBS Foreign Trade In Report partly reads, “The value of total trade in raw material stood at N711.8 billion, accounting for 7.3% of total trade. The import component was valued at N669.2 billion while the export component stood at N42.7 billion.

“In terms of imports, Cane sugar worth N88.9 billion was imported from Brazil. Mixtures of Odoriferous substance valued at N15.5 billion and N8 billion were imported from Ireland and Swaziland, while milk preparation worth N18.4 billion and N7.8 billion were imported from Ireland and Malaysia during the period under review.”

“The trade report further noted that Asia had the largest exports to Nigeria, having a total of 48%, while America is third with 12.08%. Import trade classified by region showed Asia as the dominant originating region with a record of N3,319.4 billion or 48.45%. This was followed by Europe with N2,471.6 billion or 36.08%, America N827.8 billion or 12.08%, Africa N183.4 billion or 2.68% and Oceania N48.5 billion or 0.71%. Out of the value recorded for Africa, imports from ECOWAS countries accounted for N20.8 billion,” the trade report said.

The report confirmed that Nigeria now has larger agricultural imports but did not state the reasons behind such large imports.

“The value of total imports rose by 15.61% in Q1, 2021 compared to Q4, 2020 and 54.30% compared to Q1, 2020. The value of imported agricultural products were 18.37% higher in Q1, 2021 than in Q4, 2020 and 140.47% higher year on year.

“The value of Energy goods imports was 34.39% in Q1, 2021 higher than in Q4, 2020 and 1,346.72% higher than the value recorded in Q1, 2020. The value of imported manufactured goods grew by 18.47% in Q1, 2021 against the value recorded in Q4, 2020 and 69.70% against its value in Q1, 2020. The value of other oil products imported in Q1, 2021 was 19.02% more than its value in Q4, 2020 but 15.76% less than the corresponding quarter of 2020,” it added.  

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