•Nigeria’s economy grew 7.7% year-on-year (YoY) in the final quarter of 2011, making an overall growth of 7.4% in 2011.
•The non-oil sector, which contributes some 85% of Nigeria’s GDP, continued to be the key growth driver and posted a robust growth of 8.9% in 2011.
•Nigeria’s exports soared some 42% to US$104 billion in 2011, while imports grew 30% to US$69 billion in the same period.
•Nigeria is Hong Kong’s third largest export market in Africa. Hong Kong's total exports to Nigeria fell by 12% YoY to US$92 million in the first four months of 2012.
Current Economic Situation
With over 160 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the 8th most populous country in the world. Thanks to diversification of the economy, Nigeria is one of the world’s fastest growing countries, with GDP growing 7.4% in 2011. Per-capita income in Nigeria reached US$1,471 in 2011.
Nigeria is the Africa’s largest oil producer, with around 2.5 million barrels produced per day. Oil plays an important role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for about 15% of Nigeria’s GDP, 80% of government revenue, and more than 70% of exports earnings (thereby an important source of foreign exchanges). However, occasional militancy and violence in the Niger Delta region overshadows the oil output of Nigeria. Softer oil demand from the developed countries, along with rising supply disruptions, is expected by the government to slow Nigerian growth somewhat in 2012 to 6.5%.
Nigeria’s non-oil sector, contributing some 85% of GDP, continues to be the key driver of economic growth, posting a robust growth of 8.9% in 2011.
In particular, the service sector, which accounts for around 40% of Nigeria’s GDP, is a major growth driver, with the telecommunication sector being a major powerhouse. Nigeria liberalised its telecommunication sector in the late 1990s. The entry of foreign telecom operators has sped up the process of modernisation, particularly mobile penetration.
Manufacturing in Nigeria only accounts for about 4% of GDP, yet it is regarded as a key driver of Nigeria for economic diversification. According to Nigeria’s developmental plan Vision 2020, the manufacturing sector will gain greater importance in the Nigerian economy, with its share of GDP reaching more than 15%. A large oil producer notwithstanding, blackouts are still a daily occurrence in many parts of Nigeria, where the demand for electricity is almost double the current average supply of 4,000 megawatts, posing challenges to manufacturers.
Nigeria’s exports soared some 42% to US$104 billion in 2011 while imports grew 30% to US$69 billion in the same period. China accounted for 14% of Nigerian imports, second only to the US (16%). Given its small manufacturing sector, consumer products are mostly imported. In 2011, imports of consumer goods accounted for some 8% of total imports, with average annual growth rates of 63% during 2008-2011.
Nigeria became a WTO member in 1995. It adopts the Harmonised System (HS) of Customs Tariff and all duties are levied on an ad valorem basis, with rates for most product lines ranging from 0% for to 35%.
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is responsible for inspecting the quality of imported goods. If customs documents are submitted on time, the concerned goods should generally be cleared within 48 hours.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) regulates the importation of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals. Importers of such goods should register with NAFDAC.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) regulates the import of telecom equipment for use into the country by licensed private telecom service providers. This is to ensure the quality of telecom equipments is up to standard.