Manufactured goods valued at N13.7tn were imported into Nigeria from January to September this year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics show.
The country exported N757bn worth of manufactured goods in the nine-month period, accounting for 0.06 per cent of the total trade of N14.3tn.
The value of trade in the manufacturing sector stood at N4.78tn in the first quarter of this year, representing 49.01 per cent of country’s total trade in the period, according to the NBS.
Out of N4.78tn, exports accounted for N250.4bn while the import component stood at N4.5tn.
Manufactured goods imported into the country included antibiotics, used vehicles, motorcycles, and machines for reception of voice, while goods exported from the country included vessels and other floating structures as well as aluminum alloys.
In Q2, Nigeria imported N4.3tn worth of manufactured goods and only exported N211.6bn goods, bringing the total trade in the sector to N4.5tn.
The country saw its import of manufactured goods rise to N4.9tn in Q3 and exports climbed to N295.03bn, resulting in total trade of N5.2bn.
The NBS noted that manufactured goods exports in Q3 were 39.4 per cent more than the value in Q2 and 121.6 per cent higher than Q3 2020.
It said manufactured goods imports were 13.98 per cent higher in Q3 than the level in Q2 and 42.73 per cent more than that of Q3 2020.
The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria attributed the low level of exports in the sector to challenges in the country’s operating environment.
The Director-General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said although the quality of manufactured products in the country were of a high standard, challenges such as infrastructural deficiency, uncomplimentary macro-economic indices and other production constraints were putting the manufacturing sector at a disadvantaged position.
He suggested a reduction of corporate income taxes as a viable solution to give the manufactured goods in the country a chance to compete.
“It is a known fact that lower taxation encourages investment. It will enable investors to earn more from and help the profitability of existing industries and improve their working capital. MAN has been advocating for this over the years,” Ajayi-Kadir said.
He said manufacturing should be prioritised for access to foreign exchange, adding that there should be increased efforts at creating a friendlier operating environment.
He urged the government to deliberately support the productive sector strategically, set priorities along the line of improved infrastructure, competitiveness and stronger industrial linkages.