Trade balance in deficit of N3 trillion – Expert

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Trade balance in deficit of N3 trillion – Expert

The Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Musa Yusuf, has declared that
trade balance was in a deficit of N3 trillion in the third quarter of this year.

This, he said reflects an increase of 26.5% in year-on-year comparative analysis, which is not remarkably different from the trend in previous quarters.

Yusuf, who is also former Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said :
“The fundamental issues are dependence on oil and gas for our export earnings. The huge import bill on petroleum products and the weak competitiveness of non-oil economy were major contributory factors to the unfavourable balance of trade position.

” To fix the balance of trade position, we need to address the following:
Give exporters unfettered and unconditional access to their foreign exchange. We need to create a fast track for exporters at the ports.

“If we can have fast track for imports, it is even more imperative that we have fast track for export. Meanwhile, export processes remain very frustrating at our ports.

” The shipping companies and terminal operators do not accord the desired priority to export. This should change. We should provide access to intermediate inputs on concessionary terms to exporters, in order to make their exports competitive both in quality and price.

“We should set up export clusters and deepen the activities of our export processing zones, in order to boost export earnings.

“We need to connect to global value chains based on our competitive advantage.
Terminal operators and shipping companies should be compelled to prioritise export. For most of them, export is not in serious reckoning in their operations.”

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