Nigeria experiences 64% increase in Import rate

Premium Motor Spirit, also known as gasoline or petrol, durum wheat, and used vehicles topped Nigeria's list of top imported items in 2021, accounting for 28.9 percent of the total import bill recorded in the review year.

Nigeria imported goods worth N20.84 trillion in 2021, a 64 percent increase over the previous year's figure of N12.7 trillion. 

According to available data, this is also the African giant's highest import bill.


Remember that Nigeria saw a 58 percent increase in total international trade to N39.75 trillion in 2021, up from N25.22 trillion the previous year. However, the significant increase in import bills resulted in an N1.94 trillion trade deficit, further establishing Nigeria as a net importer.


According to a further breakdown of the report, Nigeria exported crude oil worth N14.41 trillion in 2021, a 53 percent increase over the N9.44 trillion recorded in 2020, while accounting for 76 percent of Nigeria's total export earnings.


N1.29 trillion for durum wheat

In 2021, Nigeria spent N1.29 trillion on durum wheat imports, accounting for 6.2 percent of total imports in the year under review and ranking second in terms of value.

Durum wheat is a spring wheat variety that is typically ground into semolina and used to make pasta. It is also ground finely and used to make couscous, bulgur, noodles, and bread. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, wheat is the third most widely consumed grain in the country, trailing only after maize and rice.

"The enormous demand-supply gap is bridged with over $2 billion spent annually on wheat importation. This has made wheat the second highest contributor to the country’s food import bill," the CBN said in an event held in Plateau State in November 2021.


Meanwhile, the huge increase in wheat prices as a result of the Russia-Ukraine issue could result in a significant increase in Nigerian wheat imports in 2022.


N3.97 trillion for petrol

In 2021, Nigeria imported motor spirit oil, also known as petrol, worth N3.97 trillion, accounting for 19% of total imports recorded during the period. Despite having an abundance of crude resources, Nigeria continues to import refined gasoline due to our inability to refine crude oil locally.


Following the war between Russia and Ukraine, crude oil prices have risen significantly in the global market, affecting the landing cost of petrol, implying that Nigeria may spend a significant amount of money on petrol imports in 2022.


N770.13 billion for used vehicles

Nigerians imported used vehicles worth N770.13 billion in 2021, accounting for 3.7 percent of total imports in the review year. The NBS defines the used vehicle popularly known as Tokunbo as "Used Vehicles with Diesel or Semidiesel Engines of Cylinder Capacity >2500cc."


According to a report published in July 2021, growing consumer inflation in the United States is on the verge of sparking a wave of imported inflation into Nigeria, with a concentration on used vehicles, which is a major imported item from the United States.


The following are some of the others on the list:

N568.5 billion in gas oil

N480.9 billion in antibiotics

Cane sugar – N425.6 billion

Reception machines – N415.8 billion

N390.9 billion in motorcycles and cycles

N272.3 billion in lubricating oil

N165.8 billion in polyethylene


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