THE National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has released the country’s merchandise trade figure for the first quarter of 2014. According to the figure, the country recorded a 6.8 percent increase in trade from N5.16 trillion as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013 to N5.51 trillion in the first quarter of this year.
The bureau, in the merchandise trade report, said in comparison to the corresponding quarter of 2013, the value of total merchandise trade increased in the first three months of this year by N406 billion or 8.2 percent. “The total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of quarter one 2014 was N5.51tn. This represented a 6.8 per cent increase from the value of N5.16tn recorded in the preceding quarter. In comparison with the corresponding quarter of 2013, the value of the total merchandise trade increased by N406 bn or 8.2 per cent.”
The first quarter of 2014, the report stated, saw N492.6 billion or 14.2 percent rise in the value of exports. It added that there was also N140.6 billion or 8.3 percent fall in the value of imports against the fourth quarter 2013 figure. It said that a trade surplus of N2.42 trillion was also recorded in the period under review, representing a 35.4 percent increase from the surplus observed in the previous quarter. The NBS report stated, “Comparison with the first quarter of the previous year revealed that the value of the nation’s trade surplus increased by 34.3 per cent, or N618.6bn as a result of a decline in imports by 6.2 per cent, while exports increased by 15 per cent during the period.”
The crude oil component of total exports, the report noted, stood at N3.23 trillion for the first quarter, indicating 81.5 percent of total exports, while non-crude oil accounted for N735.9 billion or 18.5 percent of total exports. When classified by section, the structure of Nigeria’s import trade was dominated by boilers, machinery and appliances, which accounted for 23.7 percent of the total value of import trade in the first quarter.
Other commodities that contributed notably to the value of import trade in the quarter were mineral products, 16 per cent; vehicles, aircraft and associated parts, 13 percent; base metals and articles of base metals, 9.5 percent; and products of the chemical and allied industries, 8.5 per cent. Analysis of Nigeria’s imports by continent of origin revealed that the country largely consumed goods from Asia, with import value of N670.4 billion or 43.4 percent. Other significant contributors include Europe with imported goods valued at N563.1 billion or 36.4 percent and the Americas with imported goods worth N227.6 billion or 14.7 percent.
Stallion Group’s Made-in-Nigeria Vehicles
THREE months after delivering the Made-in-Nigeria Nissan range of vehicles, Stallion Group has delivered another Nigerian vehicle from the group manufacture and assembly of Hyundai range of vehicles. Sunil Vaswani, chairman of the group, said the new vehicles would be affordably priced, in order to give Nigerians a break from the strangle-hold of wholesale vehicle importers.
The made-in-Nigeria Hyundai vehicles are being assembled at the Hyundai Motor plant in Lagos. Some of the Hyundai passenger cars which are priced between N1.5 million and N1.9 million are i10, Grand, Accent, Elantra and iX35 while in the truck and bus segments, the 10-ton HD160, seven-ton HD 120, five-ton HD78 and three-ton HD65 as well as 28+1 seater Hyundai County bus and 30-seater Stallion County bus. They are now being supplied to the market.
The Stallion Group-owned multivehicle assembly plant had, in July, announced the commencement of locally produced Hyundai range of vehicles, having inaugurated and rolled-out the first set of made-in-Nigeria Nissan automobiles in April.
Tokunbo Aromolaran, managing director, Hyundai Motors Nigeria Limited plant, said the vehicles were certified to the world’s highest automotive operating standard – ISO/TS 16949.
“The ISO/TS 16949 is the highest automotive operating standard in the world and its benefits include improved quality processes at the facility along with streaming supply chains both leading to a better overall product. The plant had supported its ambitious growth plans by prioritising the need for a faster and more efficient environment to facilitate concurrent product development and support a rapidly changing requirement for a vehicle programme.
Today, we are glad to inform Nigerians that we have delivered on our promise to make available affordably priced vehicles – thanks to strong-willed President Goodluck Jonathan and the indefatigable supervisory roles of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment headed by Mr. Olusegun Aganga,” he said.
The plant director added that the first phase of delivery, which has already begun, establishes a system of record for the complete vehicle programme which will gradually be expanded to meet the ever-increasing demands for functional vehicles in Nigeria. “Prospective customers can now walk into any of our dealership showrooms nationwide to buy value-driven made-in-Nigeria Hyundai certified vehicles. Hyundai i10, Grand, Xcent and Elantra are elegantly crafted functional cars with eye-popping styling, good fuel economy, and fantastic driving experience with modest starting price that is affordable to every desiring buyer,” Aromolaran assured.
Parvir Singh, group managing director, Stallion Automobile Division, who received the Made-in-Nigeria Hyundai vehicles on behalf of the sale and marketing division of Hyundai Motors Nigeria, described the achievement as a milestone in the history of Nigeria’s automotive industry. He later announced a starting price of N1.594 million for the Hyundai i10 and N1.990 million for the Grand, urging customers to take advantage of the price to drive a certified made-in-Nigeria Hyundai car.
Singh oversees the sales, marketing and dealer development arms of the Hyundai Motors Nigeria and is responsible for creative and imaginative marketing strategies to develop new and existing customer sales and brand support. Stallion Motors dealers in Lagos, Warri, Asaba, Anambra and Abakaliki have also commended the initiative, saying this would expand customers’ options of below N2 million range of vehicles.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Aug. 25, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT