Amid increasing calls for diversification of the economy, Nigeria’s crude oil exports jumped to N5.6trn. This is the first quarter of 2022, reflects a nearly 200% increase when compared to the same period in 2021.
The figures are contained in the Foreign Trade Report of the National Bureau of Statistics. Says that Nigeria’s total merchandise trade stood at N13 trillion in the first quarter of 2022. This indicates an increase of 11.05% over the value recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021. And 65.41% higher when compared to the value recorded in the first quarter of 2021.
The export trade in the quarter under review stood at N7.1 trillion, showing a rise of 23.15 over the value recorded in the preceding quarter. And also an increase of 137.9% over the corresponding period of the preceding year.
It valued total imports at N5.90 trillion, showing a decrease of 0.7% over the value recorded in the preceding quarter.
Speaking on the causes of the sharp increase in the amount of exported crude within one year, an energy expert, Bala Zaka, said the numbers did not mean an increase in the volume of exports.
According to him, factors such as the Russia-Ukraine war had led to a significant rise in the price of oil in the international market; and, as a result, oil revenue had increased far above the projected benchmark when the year began.
Zaka further noted that the latest numbers should not be misinterpreted to imply a resurgence of the Nigerian economy. Noting that the country still could not produce enough quantity to meet the benchmark set by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries due to poor management of the oil sector by the government.