NBS: Nigeria recorded N1.4trn trade deficit in Q4 2023

BY Victor Ejechi


The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says Nigeria recorded N1.41 trillion trade deficit between October and December of 2023.

On Friday, NBS made this known in its foreign trade report for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023.

In the period under review, Nigeria’s exports totalled N12.69 trillion, and total imports stood at N14.11 trillion — which gives a trade deficit of N1.41 trillion.

A trade deficit is an economic indicator of a negative trade balance in which a nation’s imports outweigh its exports.


“In the fourth quarter of 2023, Nigeria’s total trade stood at N26,801.95 billion. Exports were valued at N12,693.62 billion, while imports amounted to N14,108.33 billion,” NBS said.

“On an annual basis, total trade was N71,880.01 billion, of which imports amounted to N35,917.62 billion, and exports were recorded at N35,962.39 billion.”

Compared to Q3 2023, exports rose by 22.68 percent quarter-on-quarter, from N10.35 trillion to N12.69 trillion in Q4 last year.


On a year-on-year basis, there was a 99.60 percent jump in export value compared to N6.36 trillion in Q4 2022.

Similarly, total imports rose by 56.04 percent quarter-on-quarter, compared to Q3 2023 (N9.04 trillion) and surged by 163.08 percent year-on-year (YoY) compared to Q4 2022 (N5.36 trillion).

In Q3 2023, Nigeria had a trade surplus of N1.31 trillion. This means the value of Nigeria’s exports (N10.35 trillion) was higher than imports (N9.04 trillion).

However, by Q4 2023, the situation reversed, with Nigeria’s trade recording a deficit, as the value of imports exceeded exports.



Nigeria’s exports boomed in the fourth quarter of 2023, with the Netherlands, India, and Spain emerging as the top destinations. These three countries, along with Canada and France, accounted for nearly half (45.29 percent) of Nigeria’s total exports in Q4 last year.

“Further analysis on fourth-quarter trade by partners shows that the top five export destinations in Q4, 2023 were the Netherlands with ₦1,910.47 billion or 15.05%, India with ₦1,101.47 billion or 8.68%, Spain with ₦1,030.09 billion or 8.11%, Canada with ₦907.64 billion or 7.15%, and France with ₦799.77 billion or 6.30% of total exports,” NBS said.

“Altogether, exports to the top five countries amounted to 45.29% of the total value of exports.


“The largest exported product in the fourth quarter of 2023 was ‘Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude’ valued at ₦10,310.70 billion, representing 81.23%; this was followed by ‘Natural gas,’ with ₦1,015.84 billion accounting for 8.00%, and ‘Urea, whether or not in aqueous solution’ with ₦251.90 billion, or 1.98% of total exports.”

Singapore topped the list of Nigeria’s import partners in Q4 2023, accounting for a significant 36.09% (N5.09 trillion) of the total import value.


China remained a major player, coming in second with 14.61 percent (N2,06 trillion) worth of imported goods.

Rounding out the top five were Belgium, India, and the United States, collectively contributing over half (58.82 percent) of Nigeria’s imports in Q4.


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