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Latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown that India was Nigeria’s biggest trading partner in the third quarter of 2018, gulping N719.2 billion of crude and N37.7 billion of natural gas exports from the country.

India also bought cashew nuts worth N4.7 billion, Unwrought lead (N700 million) and Leather (N300 million).

On the import side, Nigeria imported motorcycles and cycles worth N29.2 billion from the Asian country. Other imports were medicines, such as antibiotics to the value of N7 billion, agricultural machines worth N3.6 billion, dried vegetables N3.6 billion and treated mosquito nets N3.4 billion.

The NBS also listed Spain, France, Netherlands and China as Nigeria’s major trading partners in the statement titled “Commodity Price Index and Terms of Trade for third quarter (Q3), 2018.”

Spain was the second biggest buyer of Nigeria’s crude, after India. It bought crude worth N463 billion and liquefied gas valued N52.7 billion. Nigeria also shipped leather valued N4.3 billion and cocoa paste worth N300 million to the country.

In return, Nigeria imported petrol or motor spirit at N25.7 billion, bitumen N3.7 billion and petrochemical products N3.4 billion.

France is Nigeria’s third biggest trading partner, the NBS figures showed.

France bought N422.5 billion crude and N74.2 billion liquefied natural gas and N1.1 billion of soya bean oil from Nigeria, during the period.

Nigeria imported petrol worth N54.6 billion and lubricating oil, worth N16.1 billion.

Netherlands is also a major importer of Nigeria’s crude as it bought N260.7 billion worth in third quarter. It also bought liquefied gas valued at N5.6 billion, cocoa beans N2.9 billion and frozen shrimps and prawns N1.9 billion.

Nigeria imported from the Netherlands motor spirit or petrol valued at N337.2 billion, gas oil N48.2 billion, medical equipment N36.7 billion and medicines, such as antibiotics N9.5 billion.

China, the fifth important country to Nigeria in terms of trade bought crude worth N24.5 billion, gas that includes LNG and butane N48.6 billion. Nigeria imported chips worth N14.6 billion from China, herbicides N14 billion, motorcycles N12 billion, vehicle chassis N10 billion, iron and steel N10 billion.

According to NBS, all products Terms of Trade (TOT) index rose 0.52 per cent during the period under review.

TOT is the relative price of imports in terms of exports and is defined as the ratio of export prices to import prices.

In another report, NBS put revenue generated from Value Added Tax (VAT) from sectoral distribution from first to third quarters of 2018 at N808 billion.

VAT is a consumption tax placed on a product whenever value is added at each stage of the supply chain, from production to the point of sale.

Sectoral Distribution of VAT for Q2 and Q3, 2018 showed an increase in the revenue generated from VAT during the year under review.

It revealed the sum of N273.50 billion was generated as VAT in the third quarter, N266.73 billion in the second quarter and N269.79 billion in first quarter of the year respectively.

The figures represented an increase of 2.54 per cent quarter-on-quarter, and 9.16 per cent increase year-on-year.

The report showed that the manufacturing sector generated the highest amount of VAT with N31.48 billion generated.

This, it said, was closely followed by Professional Services and Commercial and Trading, both generating N25.57 billion and N15.99 billion respectively.

It further stated that the mining sector generated the least, and was closely followed by Pharmaceutical, Soaps and Toiletries and Textile and Automobiles and Assemblies with N52.70 million, N177.34 million and N265.35 million respectively.

In addition, it stated that out of the total amount generated in the third quarter of the year under review, N128.62 billion was generated as Non-Import VAT locally, while N58.84 billion was generated as Non-Import VAT for foreign.

The report, however, noted that the balance of N86.04 billion was generated as Nigeria-Customs import VAT in the year.

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