The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a West African nation with 211.4 million residents and is thus home to Africa’s largest population of potential consumers.
Nigeria is strategically located along Africa’s mid-western coastline. This enables Nigerian importers to efficiently receive shipments via the adjacent Atlantic Ocean.
From a linguistic perspective, the name Nigeria was originally scribed by a British journalist based on the predominance of the Niger River. The Niger River is a spectacular landmark that traverses the country.
Although Nigeria is a multinational state blessed with over 250 ethnic groups communicating via 500 distinct languages, English was designated as the country’s official language with the goal of encouraging linguistic unity at the national level.
Nigeria is also the world’s 25th richest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on a Purchasing Power Parity basis, generating $1.116 trillion as of April 2021.
As for the country’s demand for imported goods, the 100 most valuable consumer products imported into Nigeria in 2020 generated a subtotal US$27.2 billion worth of Nigerian spending. That consumer-specific dollar amount represents over half (51.4%) of the overall value of all goods imported into Nigeria. The West African nation’s overall spending on all imports, including raw materials and intermediate products, totaled $53 billion.
Among Nigeria’s most valuable consumer products in 2020 are: refined petroleum oils; cars; medications; motorcycles; and frozen whole fish excluding fillets.
Total spending on Nigeria’s top 100 imported consumer products increased by 15.8% from 2019 to 2020. Nigeria’s top 100 consumer metric eclipses the 11.9% uptick for all of Nigeria’s imported goods over the latest annual period.
The acceleration in Nigerian spending for imported consumer products contrasts with the global average from 2019 to 2020, which was an average drop of -8.2% for all importing countries around the world.
Among the top 100 consumer products imported by Nigeria, 77 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 23 declined. Changes in Nigerian consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.
Consumer Products Defined
Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.
Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.
Types of Consumer Products
This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.
Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.
Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.
Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.
Nigerian Consumer Imports Smart List
The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases Nigeria’s 100 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.
The table’s fourth column is labeled YOY for year over year. The fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.
|1||Processed petroleum oils||$7,712,899,000||+9.2%||CP|
|5||Whole fish (frozen)||$837,449,000||+36.6%||CP|
|8||Sugar (cane or beet)||$703,228,000||+51.8%||CP|
|9||Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items||$673,597,000||+86.6%||SP|
|11||Packaged insecticides, herbicides||$527,001,000||+59.9%||SP|
|12||Malt extract, food preparations||$502,977,000||+17%||CP|
|13||Dishwash, clean/dry/fill machines||$464,830,000||+48.9%||SY|
|14||Electrical converters/power units||$457,580,000||-6.9%||SP|
|15||Electric generating sets, converters||$456,776,000||-31.4%||SY|
|16||Unused stamps including postage||$387,964,000||-50.2%||SP|
|17||Sewing machines, related furniture||$348,737,000||+57.4%||SY|
|18||Uncoated paper for writing/printing||$345,345,000||+26.3%||CP|
|20||Fresh or chilled fish excluding fillets||$300,413,000||+190.4%||CP|
|21||Other food preparations||$298,782,000||+128.3%||CP|
|27||Rubber tires (new)||$185,465,000||-39.9%||SP|
|28||Computers, optical readers||$162,780,000||+11%||SP|
|29||Electric storage batteries||$136,693,000||+18.7%||SY|
|33||Dried or salted fish||$129,034,000||+92.7%||CP|
|35||Semi-finished iron/non-alloy steel items||$109,788,000||+38.1%||SP|
|36||Potato flakes, powder, pellets||$109,150,000||+289.5%||CP|
|37||Sauces, mixed condiments, seasoning||$102,987,000||+33.1%||CP|
|39||Caps, lids, corks, pouring stoppers||$74,091,000||+40.2%||SP|
|40||Yachts, canoes, row boats||$71,306,000||+1770%||SP|
|41||Iron/steel stoves, barbecues||$68,865,000||+24.5%||SY|
|42||Fruit and vegetable juices||$66,336,000||+85.4%||CP|
|43||Bovine raw hides and skins||$65,538,000||+309.4%||SY|
|45||Waters with added sugar||$63,623,000||-7%||CP|
|46||Apples, pears (fresh)||$63,393,000||+69.5%||CP|
|47||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$63,170,000||+28.7%||SP|
|48||Prepared glues, adhesives||$59,361,000||+66.8%||SP|
|49||Ceramic sinks, baths, bidets||$59,151,000||+14.4%||SP|
|51||Cereal groats, meals, pellets||$57,333,000||+359.4%||CP|
|52||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$56,477,000||-4.2%||SY|
|53||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$53,619,000||+32.6%||CP|
|54||Oral/dental hygiene preparations||$52,388,000||+84%||CP|
|55||Tarps, tents, sails for boats||$52,220,000||+1706%||SP|
|56||Special purpose vehicles||$52,035,000||+1.5%||SP|
|57||Insoles, heel cushions||$51,987,000||+70.8%||SP|
|58||Printed books, brochures||$50,351,000||+14.4%||SP|
|59||Other pharmaceutical preparations||$50,337,000||+146.3%||SP|
|61||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$49,476,000||+4.4%||SP|
|62||Medication mixes not in dosage||$47,202,000||+33.8%||CP|
|66||Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins||$42,280,000||+18.9%||SP|
|67||Meat, fish or crustacean flours, pellets||$39,024,000||+91.7%||SP|
|68||Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners||$37,760,000||+56.6%||CP|
|70||Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)||$36,275,000||-15.9%||CP|
|72||Vulcanized rubber items||$35,524,000||+27.1%||SP|
|73||Prepared cereal foods||$35,151,000||+58.2%||CP|
|74||Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles||$34,784,000||-20.1%||SP|
|75||Tea (including flavored)||$34,181,000||+89.3%||CP|
|76||Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates||$32,384,000||+68.1%||CP|
|78||Iron/steel tables, household items||$30,704,000||+42.9%||SP|
|79||Harvest balers, threshers, mowers||$29,932,000||-21.4%||SP|
|80||Other organic cleaning preparations||$28,215,000||+22.2%||CP|
|81||Unrecorded sound media||$26,992,000||-10.9%||SP|
|83||Miscellaneous plastic items||$25,944,000||+17%||CP|
|84||Portable lamps with batteries||$25,741,000||+16.5%||SP|
|86||Chocolate, other cocoa preparations||$22,633,000||+37.9%||CP|
|87||Other printed pictures, photos||$22,481,000||-43.9%||SY|
|88||Computer parts, accessories||$22,182,000||-22.8%||SP|
|89||Ginger, thyme, pepper, other spices||$21,759,000||+31.8%||CP|
|93||Vegetable saps, extracts||$20,592,000||+59.1%||CP|
|94||Bandages, gauze, dressings||$20,305,000||-3.8%||CP|
|95||Household base metal mountings||$19,892,000||+55.3%||SY|
|96||Base metal razors, blades||$19,320,000||-17.6%||CP|
|97||Glass bottles, other containers||$19,244,000||+13.1%||SP|
|98||Paper containers, cellulose wadding||$18,715,000||+15.8%||SP|
|100||Cases, handbags, wallets||$18,385,000||+27.2%||SP|
Nigeria’s most popular product type is shopping products (SP) led by imported cars, motorcycles, phone devices including smartphones, items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel, and packaged insecticides or herbicides.
In second place via 39 items are convenience products (CP), articles that are bought routinely, used only once and generally require less thinking time before making a buying decision. Popular examples include refined petroleum oils, medications, frozen whole fish, concentrated or sweetened milk, and sugar.
There were 17 speciality products (SY) ranking among Nigeria’s top 100 imported consumer goods. Major speciality products imported into Nigeria include air conditioners, electric storage batteries, prefabricated buildings, and beauty products such as makeup or skin care.
Durable consumer products are goods like cars, trucks, printing machinery, insulated wire or cable, and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that both shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer goods.
Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Coal, medications, sugar and corn are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.
Based on the product types identified in the above table, 61 of Nigeria’s highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 39 are classified as non-durable.
You can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into Nigeria that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.
- Soya-bean oil: Up 2,147% (US$20.9 million)
- Yachts, canoes, row boats: Up 1,770% ($71.3 million)
- Tarps, tents, sails for boats: Up 1,706% ($52.2 million)
- Fertilizer mixes: Up 540.3% ($130.2 million)
- Corn: Up 501.7% ($87.1 million)
- Cereal groats, meals, pellets: Up 359.4% ($57.3 million)
- Bovine raw hides and skins: Up 309.4% ($65.5 million)
- Potato flakes, powder, pellets: Up 289.5% ($109.2 million)
- Beauty/makeup/skin care: Up 265.1% ($36.8 million)
- Fresh or chilled fish excluding fillets: Up 190.4% ($300.4 million)
Three among the above top 10 gainers are speciality products and therefore also durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. This trio of fastest-growing speciality products in demand by importers in Nigeria are fertilizer mixes, bovine raw hides and skins.
A pair of fastest growing subcategories for imports that are also shopping products encompass: yachts, canoes and row boats; and tarps, tents and sails for boats. The 5 non-durable imported consumer products that lead in sales growth fall into the following subcategories: soya-bean oil; corn; cereal groats, meals and pellets; potato flakes, powder and pellets; and fresh or chilled fish excluding fillets.
Worst-Declining Consumer Imports
Spending by import buyers in Nigeria on the following 10 items decreased in value by the highest percentages from 2019 to 2020.
- Unused stamps including postage: Down -50.2% ($388 million)
- Miscellaneous printed pictures, photo: Down -43.9% ($22.5 million)
- New rubber tires: Down -39.9% ($185.5 million)
- Electric generating sets, converters: Down -31.4% ($456.8 million)
- Washing machines: Down -28.8% ($36 million)
- Insulated wire/cable: Down -22.9% ($133.3 million)
- Computer parts, accessories: Down -22.8% ($22.2 million)
- Printing machinery: Down -22.7% ($124.2 million)
- Harvesting machinery like balers, threshers, mowers: Down -21.4% ($29.9 million)
- Refrigerators, freezers: Down -20.2% ($236.3 million)
Six categories among Nigerian top 10 severest decliners are durable shopping products used over a period of time. The worst slippage among those categories was for Nigeria’s imported unused stamps including postage, new rubber tires, and computer parts or accessories.
The strongest declines for the 4 durable speciality goods belong to miscellaneous printed pictures and photos; electric generating sets or converters; washing machines; and refrigerators and freezers.
Not one non-durable consumer product places among Nigeria’s 10 major import decliners from 2019 to 2020 among non-durable convenient products were alcoholic beverages including spirits and liqueurs, and uncoated paper used for writing, printing or both.
Key Suppliers by Country
This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target demand for 5 of Nigeria’s top consumer import products.
Nigeria’s biggest imported consumer product by value is processed petroleum oils. The other 4 leading consumer goods imported into Nigeria are cars, medications, motorcycles including mopeds, and frozen whole fish.
Below, you will find major supplying countries for Nigeria’s imported:
Processed petroleum oils: Netherlands (33.8% of total), Belgium (17.9%), India (5.1%), Norway (4.1%), Russia (3.9%), United Arab Emirates (3.8%), South Korea (3.4%), France (3.4%), Italy (2.7%), and United States (2.6%).
Cars: United States (65% of total), Italy (4.5%), United Arab Emirates (3.9%), India (3.6%), Netherlands (3.1%), Germany (2.7%), Brazil (2.7%), Canada (2.3%), Belgium (2.1%), and China (2%).
Medications: Netherlands (36.9% of total), India (30.4%), China (12%), United Arab Emirates (2.8%), France (2.4%), United Kingdom (2.2%), Germany (1.2%), Belgium (1.1%), Indonesia (1.1%), and Italy (also 1.1%).
Motorcycles including mopeds: India (69.2% of total), China (29.9%), Japan (0.4%), United States (0.2%), Indonesia (0.15%), Thailand (0.09%), Taiwan (0.03%), United Kingdom (also 0.03%), South Korea (0.02%), and United Arab Emirates (also 0.02%).
Frozen whole fish: Netherlands (26.8% of total), Russia (21%), Chile (11.1%), Norway (5.9%), Mauritania (5.8%), Ireland (4.5%), Faroe Islands (4%), Japan (3%), Peru (also 3%), and Poland (2.6%).
More great research: Nigeria’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries, 100 Most Valuable Imported Consumer Goods to Sell in Malaysia, 100 Best Consumer Goods for Selling to Importers in Russia, 100 Top Consumer Goods to Sell to Importers in Brazil, Pakistan’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Nigeria Economy.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Richest Country Reports, Top 100 Richest Countries by GDP.
Trading Economics, Nigeria Consumer Spending.
Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.
World’s Top Exports, Nigeria’s Top 10 Imports.