- Nigeria Spends N1.7trn on Petrol Importation in 2019
The total amount spent on petrol importation in 2019 declined by 42 per cent from N2.95 trillion recorded in 2018 to N1.71 trillion in 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported.
According to the report, this represents 10.75 per cent of the total amount spent on imported goods in 2019 and less than the 22.4 per cent petrol imports accounted for in 2018 when N13.16 trillion was spent on imports.
The report attributed the decline in the amount spent on petrol imports in 2019 to lower oil prices, Brent crude against which Nigerian oil is priced was largely trading at an average price of $64 per barrel during the year, down from $71 per barrel it traded a year before.
Breaking down the report, petrol gulped N190.78 billion in the first quarter before the amount rose to N572.28 billion in the second quarter. The amount declined to N371.79 billion in the third quarter and climbed to its highest in the fourth quarter, N574.88 billion.
Despite Federal Government closing the nation’s land borders, the litres of petrol imported rose during the period to 5.64 billion litres valued at N574.88 billion, up from 5.09 billion worth N371.79 billion imported in the third quarter.
President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the closure of the Nigerian borders in August 2019 to force decorum across the nation’s land borders. While government officials had claimed the border closure had led to a decline in daily fuel consumption from about 60 million litres per day to 52 million litres after the borders were closed, the National Bureau of Statistics shows otherwise. In fact, the nation imported 63.1 million litres more than when the borders were opened in the third quarter.
From the report, most of the declined recorded was during periods of open borders, first and second quarters, when 4.87 billion litres and 5.61 billion litres, were imported respectively.
However, with crude oil now trading at a record low of about $36 per barrel, spending import should moderate accordingly, especially with foreign reserves fast declining.