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.
|Motor Spirit ordinary||1,238,860,861,333|
|Durum wheat (including seeed)||278,470,842,249|
|motorcycles and cycles (incl tricycles)||72,343,196,182|
|Phones and other machines for the reception,conversion & transmission or regeneration of voice,images etc||55,469,611,688|
|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|
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.