Nigeria’s import from Russia has crashed significantly, hitting its lowest this year, as the war in Ukraine persists.
The foreign trade report of the National Bureau of Statistics for the third quarter of 2022 released last week showed that only N1.71tn worth of goods was imported from Russia in the quarter.
This was a decline of 92.17 per cent from the N21.84bn imports recorded in the second quarter.
Nigeria’s two major imports from Russia over the years have been wheat and fish. This year, Nigeria has imported various types of fish from Russia.
Nigeria is yet to import durum wheat from the country unlike previous years.
In Q1 2022, Nigeria imported N6.27bn herrings and N2.77bn blue whiting from Russia, while by Q2 2022 the country imported N13.39bn blue whitings, N7.21bn herrings, and N1.25bn malt.
By Q3 2022, Nigeria imported N1.19bn jack and horse mackerel and N517.90m sulphur.
Media had earlier reported in September this year that amid attacks on Ukraine, Nigeria increased its imports from Russia by 143.21 per cent.
It was observed that the total imports from Russia hit N21.84bn in Q2 2022, a massive increase from N8.98bn in Q1 2022.
This initial increase was against the prediction that Nigeria’s imports from Russia might be at risk due to war.
However, the prediction from economists is finally coming to fruition.
Earlier in March, a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Uyo, Akpan Ekpo, had said if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine persisted, Nigeria’s imports from the two countries might be affected.
He added that this would likely lead to inflation and more hardship for Nigerians.
He said, “If Nigeria can’t import wheat anymore or other products that we import from Russia due to sanctions, it is very likely the prices of products made from wheat or with wheat will rise in the medium-to-long term. This, of course, will increase inflation and create more hardship for the average Nigerian.”
He stressed the need for the country to boost domestic wheat production to meet up with local consumption and export opportunities. Russia was among Nigeria’s top 10 import trade partners between the third quarter of 2020 and the corresponding period in 2021.
However, the country is losing this position as it continues to wage war against Ukraine.
Additionally, while Nigeria has been importing from Russia, import from Ukraine seems to be significantly affected as the NBS report has no record of any import from Ukraine.