The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday revealed that Nigeria is the number one importer of commercial services in Africa in 2020.
WTO made the revelation in a data released on Friday.
The Geneva-based international trade organisation ranked Nigeria as the 25th commercial importer in the world but the first commercial importer in Africa, followed by Egypt which was ranked 28th in the world.
While Egypt and Morocco made the list of world exporters led by the United States, Nigeria was conspicuously absent in the global commercial exporters’ list.
The US also ranked first in the commercial importers’ list followed by China, United Kingdom and Japan; while US, UK, China and India topped the exporters’ list.
WTO noted that preliminary estimates were based on quarterly statistics.
Figures for the number of countries and territories have been estimated by the Secretariat.
Data for 2020 are not yet available for the United Arab Emirates. In 2019, commercial services exports were valued at US$72 billion and imports at US$73 billion.
This is coming the same day the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that it will cease providing foreign currency for importers of sugar and wheat.
The central bank said in a tweet:
Sugar and wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them.
This restriction on foreign exchange on wheat joins the list of restrictions made in 2015. The list contains 41 items the regulatory body insists can be manufactured locally.
Rice tops the list of prohibited products for which foreign exchange has been restricted for and equally accounts for one of the most smuggled items in the country due to local production capacity unable to meet demand.
The new restrictions may see an increase in the prices of bread, pasta and other wheat by-products.