Between January to September 2021, Nigeria’s total import bill for the period rose to $8.92bn from $4.29bn in the same period of 2020.
This was disclosed by an economist and Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Limited, Dr Biodun Adedipe, while presenting the report titled ‘National economic outlook: Implications for businesses’, during an event organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.
While commenting on Nigeria’s external sector and dwindling capacity to extinguish foreign obligations, he said, “Monthly import bill of N3.66bn (or $8.92bn) in Q1-Q3 2021 more than doubled $4.29bn in 2020.”
According to him, Nigeria remains an attractive investment destination, but not-so-attractive in light of security concerns.
He said BAA projected 3.23 per cent economic growth for 2022; the Federal Government and the National Bureau of Statistics projected 4.2 per cent; the International Monetary Fund projected 2.7 per cent; while the World Bank projected 2.5 per cent.
“Inflation rate is expected to moderate, but still double-digit (removal of oil and electricity subsidies); lending rate will remain double-digit. Continuing pressure (relentless imports and shrinking capacity to pay foreign bills) will likely force the CBN to further devalue the naira,” he said.
He added that there would be “improvement in infrastructure that will positively impact the cost of doing business and improve government revenue in the near term; and intensified digitalisation and ascendancy of the digital economy”.
The President, CIBN, Dr Bayo Olugbemi, said the economic outlook event, initiated in 2014, was designed to bring together captains of the industry, subject matter experts, seasoned practitioners and relevant stakeholders to discuss emerging and pertinent issues facing both the national and global economies as well as their implications for businesses.
“As we usher into the pre-election year, this event is very vital as it enables us to gain insight into the impact of the year on several economic indices as well as to help us undertake a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities, challenges and indeed the threats that businesses may encounter during the current year,” he said.