Posted by By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor on
The federal government disbursed a total of $47.853 billion through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the importation of goods and services into the country in the first fours years of this administration. Available records with the CBN and the Federal Office of Statistics (FOS)...
LAGOS—THe federal government disbursed a total of $47.853 billion through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the importation of goods and services into the country in the first fours years of this administration. Available records with the CBN and the Federal Office of Statistics (FOS) show that transaction through the foreign exchange market for various imports into the country amounted to $4.925 billion in 1999, $6.072 billion in 2000, $7.924 billion in 2001, $8.655billion in 2002 and $9.740 billion in 2003. Figures for 2004 are still being collated.
Available data showed that in the four-year period, industrial sector had the lion share of $19.4443 billion, followed by finished goods which importation amounted to $14.658 billion during the four-year period. Agriculture, the priority sector of the Obasanjo-led PDP Federal Government was allocated a paltry $766.7 million. Invisible trade had foreign allocation of $10.540 billion from the foreign exchange market. Transport, another key sector of the economy, got a sectoral allocation of $2.448 billion.
A further break down of the import by sub sector also showed that in the four-year period, raw materials importation gulped $11.888 billion while machinery, spare parts, and completely knock down (CKD) took from the nation’s foreign exchange coffer a total of $7.555 billion. In Nigerians craze for importation, finished goods took out of the country’s foreign exchange coffer the sum of $14.658 billion during the period. Ironically, Nigeria, a country blessed with abundant land and rainfall spent in four years a whooping sum of $5.6397 billion in food importation most of which was rice, frozen fish and turkey etc. Also during the period, Nigeria spent a total of $9.0183 billion on the importation of non essentials goods such as fruit juice, toothpick, water, clothing, generally referred to as general merchandise some of which turned out to be fake and adulterated products.
Further breakdown of the foreign exchange allocation showed that drugs and pharmaceutical sector was allocated $786.8 million for its import requirement between 1999 and 2003. In the same vein, books and educational materials had a total foreign exchange allocation of $514.4 million. The cement sub sector, an area in which Nigeria is vastly blessed, imported cement valued at $1.2152 billion. Other building materials imported were valued at $615.6 million during the period. During the period Nigeria spent $89.1 million on detergent importation. $73 million was expended in the importation of alcohol, $208.3 million on insecticides, and $476 million on lubricants.
According to the statistics with the apex bank, furniture and wood products sector got $114.1 million for its import requirement while glass products were allocated $134.3 million for importation purposes.
In the four-year period, CBN record showed that $4.6997 billion was released from the nation’s foreign exchange account for Business Travel Allowance (PTA) and estacode. Airline remittances during the period amounted to $943.5 million.