- Nigeria Spends $36.371b on Fuel Importation
A whopping $36.371billion was spent on the importation of petroleum products into the country in the last five years, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said.
The apex bank made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja during a public hearing of the Hon. Datti Garba Muhammad- led House adhoc Committee on the investigating of the state of the country’s four Refineries, their Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) to date and regular/modular licensed refineries.
Director in-Charge of Research, Mr Ganiyu Amao, who led the CBN team to the session said excessive outflow of foreign exchange (forex) impedes the ability of the bank to stabilise the naira through intervention in the forex market.
According to him, a lot of pressure is exerted on the country’s external reserves causing the naira to depreciate.
Also yesterday, the ad hoc committee directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to present necessary information on the installed capacity, volume of crude supply and output, and the TAM of the four refineries within 24 hours.
Members of the Committee such as Wole Oke (PDP, Osun), and Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), were of the opinion that rather than the one week given by the chairman of the committee, 24hours was enough for “a highly organised Corporation like the NNPC and should be able to provide such info upon request”.
While making his presentation, Amao said: “Data from the CBN show that from 2013 to 2017, a total of forex committed to imports in the country stood at $119.409billion, while the total forex committed to imports in the oil sector stood at $36.371billion, representing 13.5per cent of all imports made by the country.
“It greatly exerts serious pressure on our external reserve and depreciates the value of our local currency.”
According to him, domestic fuel consumption rose from 4.5 million metric tons (MT) to 23.9million metric tons in 2013, and dropped to 2.6million MT in 2016, adding that a policy that compels International Oil companies (IOCs) to refine at least half of the crude that they produce for domestic consumption, is favoured by the apex bank.
Hon. Muhammad (APC, Kaduna), and members of the panel however frowned at the inability of the NNPC, to provide relevant documents the lawmakers demanded.
The lawmakers said it was apparent some of the invited stakeholders were trying to shortchange the investigation by holding back needed and necessary documents.
He said: “Only a few organisations and individuals have complied with the committee’s request for documents and memoranda as many are bent on frustrating the investigation to this regard.’’