ECOWAS accounts for 52% of Nigeria’s 2023 trade within African countries

Latest foreign trade report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that countries under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) account for 52 per cent of Nigeria’s trade with African countries in 2023.

Nigeria’s total trade with ECOWAS countries in 2023 was N2.41 trillion, which is close to the N2.46 trillion recorded in 2019. 

The data further shows that while Nigeria has neared its pre-COVID-19 export levels to ECOWAS countries at nearly N2.24 trillion, it is yet to meet up with its import levels by about N47.51 billion.

While it imported N215.79 billion in 2019 from ECOWAS countries, it imported about N168.28 billion by 2023.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s trade with African countries has yet to reach pre-COVID-19 levels despite implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in 2021.

A breakdown analysis shows that in 2019, the import trade figure was N1.11 trillion, while exports soared at N3.92 trillion, cumulating a total trade of N5.03 trillion.

While less affected, exports still declined to N2.37 trillion, bringing the total trade down to N2.78 trillion, signalling a retreat in economic interactions and a disruption of supply chains across the continent.

The subsequent year, 2021, marked the beginning of a rebound, albeit a measured one. Imports increased to N551.31 billion, and exports also saw a modest resurgence to N2.41 trillion.

The total trade ascended to N2.96 trillion, a recovery in motion but with considerable ground yet to cover.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board at the Africa Private Sector Summit, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, recently said that when fully implemented, the AfCFTA  is expected to boost intra-African trade by 52 per cent, lift 30 million people out of poverty, and increase the continent’s GDP by $450 billion by 2035.