Amid the attacks on Ukraine, Nigeria imported N39.68bn worth of goods from Russia, according to the foreign trade reports of the National Bureau of Statistics for 2022. This represents about 85 per cent increase from the 21.
The total imports from Russia hit N21.84bn in Q2 2022, a massive increase from N8.98bn in Q1 2022.
The foreign trade report also showed that only N1.71tn worth of goods was imported from Russia in the third quarter.
This was a decline of 92.17 per cent from the N21.84bn imports recorded in the second quarter.
By the fourth quarter, Nigeria imported N7.15bn worth of goods from Russia, an increase of 318.13 per cent from the previous quarter.
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, while in Q4 2022, Nigeria imported N1.73bn Mackerel and N5.42bn Herrings from Russia.
Last year, a professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Uyo, Akpan Ekpo, 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 like 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.
However, Russia still remains a topmost supplier of fish, particularly herrings, blue whiting and mackerel to Nigeria.
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.
Speaking on the possible reason for the increase in imports from Russia, a development economist, Aliyu Ilias, explained that Nigeria has to increase its imports from Russia, which has been a major trading partner.