According to a trade report from the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria has increased its imports from Russia by 143.21 Percent amid Russian attacks on Ukraine. This report was published concerning the second quarter of the year 2022.
According to a source, the total imports from Russia hit N21.84bn, which is a massive jump from the first quarter, in which the imports were recorded at N8.98bn.
In the first quarter of 2022, Nigeria imported N6.27bn herrings and N2.77bn blue whiting from Russia. On the other hand, by the second quarter of 2022, the country had imported N13.39bn blue whitings, N7.21bn herrings, and N1.25bn malt.
This increase in imports is in direct contrast to the prediction that Nigeria’s imports from Russia might be at risk owing to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Earlier in March, Akpan Ekpo, a professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Uyo, had stated that if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine went on for a long time, Nigeria’s imports from the two countries are expected to get affected.
Further, he added that this persistent conflict between the two countries would likely lead to inflation and more hardship for Nigerians.
The Professor stated, “If Nigeria can not import wheat or other products that we import from Russia due to sanctions anymore, it is very likely that the prices of products that are made from wheat or with wheat as an ingredient will rise in the medium or long term. This, in turn, of course will increase inflation and create more hardship for the average Nigerian.”
He had then the need for Nigeria to boost the domestic wheat production in order to meet up with local consumption and export opportunities.
Russia still remains a topmost supplier of fish, particularly herrings and blue whiting to Nigeria.
While the country still imports blue whiting and herrings from Russia, it is yet to import durum wheat and mackerel from the country, unlike last year.
In Addition to that, it is worth noting that while Nigeria has been importing from Russia uninterrupted, the import from Ukraine seems to be significantly affected as the report from the National Statistis Bureau has no record of any import from Ukraine.
While commenting 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.
He explained that Nigeria needs the imports from Russia in order to manage the possibility of a food crisis and restrain worsened food inflation.