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In September 2016 news of Toothpick importation by Nigeria got into mainstream media and it led to a great outcry. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh reported that the country spends over $18m annually on the importation of toothpicks.
Since 2016 the Importation situation and its effects on the economy have been a pressing matter in the hearts of Nigerians, who have become more and more aware of what these importations signify and are curious about how the country seems to be importing and spending on a lot of things like power banks, mobile gadgets, cars, fashion items like wristwatches etc.
This curiosity of larger populace about this issue led us to embark on a journey to get the statistics on the items being imported, crunching the numbers to produce a list of the top 20 items Nigeria imports.

Product Value (=N=)
Motor Spirit ordinary 1,238,860,861,333
Gas Oil 350,502,467,710
Durum wheat (including seeed) 278,470,842,249
Cane Sugar 117,140,003,078
Used Vehicles 94,714,608,368
motorcycles and cycles (incl tricycles) 72,343,196,182
Lubricating Oils 69,406,245,874
Phones and other machines for the reception,conversion & transmission or regeneration of voice,images etc 55,469,611,688
Polypropylene 50,135,827,155
Milk & cream in powder for infants 44,410,195,517
taps, cocks, valves, and other appliances 36,203,596,872
Frozen foods (Mackerel, meat etc) 33,912,281,108
Mixtures of odoriferous substances used in the food or drink industries 32,076,906,470
Gas turbines (power exceeding 500kw) 22,687,434,187
Optical fibre bundles, cables and connectors 22,556,473,251
Machineries, plant and equipments 18,220,675,651
Jet Fuel (Kerosene Type) 16,536,703,229
Paper and Paperboards 16,282,084,462
Brewery machinery 15,295,661,996
Flexible tubings 14,153,264,292

Imports are foreign goods and services bought by residents of a country. If a country imports more than it exports it runs a trade deficit. If it imports less than it exports, that creates a trade surplus. So you get a pretty good picture of the trade malignancy that the country finds itself in.

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