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Border Closure: Nigeria’s trade sector slumps into recession, NBS Revealed

-By Kenny Folarin

Nigeria’s trade sector has slumped into recession as economic activities across the nation’s land borders remain grounded, fuelling its sustained contraction for the second consecutive quarter.

The trade sector shrank by 1.45 percent on a year-on-year basis in the third quarter of 2019 from a decline of 0.25 percent in the preceding quarter, the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) over the weekend revealed.

The Federal Government of Nigeria partially closed its land borders with neighbouring countries against imported goods on August 20, and followed it up with a complete closure against the movement of all goods in October to stem the tide of smuggling activities of a country which relies on importation to meet its rising demand.

The trade sector is the second-largest contributor to the Nigerian economy after Agriculture. The sector’s contribution fell to 15.23 percent between July and September 2019 compared with 15.80 percent input in the corresponding period a year earlier, no thanks to the downturn in the sector.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian economy grew by 2.28 percent from a year earlier in real terms, in the third quarter of 2019. This compares to the third quarter of 2018 which recorded a growth of 1.81 percent in real terms.