The nation recorded a Balance of Payments (BOP) surplus of $2. 8 million, in the fourth quarter of last year.
This indication of a better trading position was contained in the balance of payments statistics released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to the apex bank, the 2018 Q4 BOP was a significant improvement compared to the huge BOP deficit of $4.542 billion in the preceding quarter (Q3).
It said, “The provisional Balance of Payments (BOP) estimates for Q4 2018 showed a significant improvement in the BOP outcome as the overall balance of payments recorded a surplus of $2.80 million compared to a huge deficit of $4,542.08 million and a surplus of $6,180.40 million recorded in the preceding quarter and corresponding period of 2017, respectively.”
The Current Account Balance (CAB), according to the apex bank, “improved from a deficit of $1,544.41 million in Q3 2018 to a surplus of $1,104.57 million in Q4 2018. “The financial account balance indicated a net acquisition of financial assets of $2,327.91 million in the review period as against a net incurrence of financial liabilities of $4,615.17 million recorded in the preceding period “The current account indicated a positive outcome during the review period, recording a surplus of $1,104.57 million as against a deficit of $1,544.41 million and a surplus of $3,657.18 million in the previous quarter and corresponding period of 2017, respectively.”
The bank explained that the positive position was largely attributable to the decrease in imports and payments on income, adding that export earnings increase slightly, within the review period, while imports decreased.
CBN added that both Foreign Direct Investment inflows and Foreign Portfolio inflows decreased, during the period under review with direct results on a slight external reserves decrease.
“Earnings from non-oil and electricity exports increased by 15.0 per cent to $1034.59 million in Q4 2018 when compared with the preceding quarter,” the bank said.
It added that, based on available data, payments for import of goods to the economy in the review period decreased significantly by 20.7 per cent to $9,861.89 million below the level recorded in the preceding quarter.
“This was largely as a result of 19.9 per cent decrease in theimports of non-oil products,” the apex bank said. Direct Investments inflow decreased by 28.3 per cent to $314.44 million when compared with the preceding quarter of 2018, according to the bank.
Portfolio Investments inflow to the economy, CBN indicated, also “decreased significantly to $1,382.40 million in Q4 2018 from $1,790.83 million and $3,787.16 million in the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2017, respectively.