- Petrol Imports: FG Spends N2.95tn in 2018
The cost of importing Premium Motor Spirit, known as petrol, jumped by almost 50 per cent to N2.95 trillion in 2018.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics released on Monday showed Nigeria spent N1.97 trillion on PMS imports in 2017, N1.63 trillion in 2016 and N1.14 trillion in 2015.
Petrol imports surged from 20.6 per cent of the nation’s total imports in 2017 to 22.4 per cent in 2018, 18.4 per cent in 2016 and 17 per cent in 2015.
PMS import jumped from 56.5 million litres per day in January to 86.4 million lpd in February, according to the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.
Umar Ajiya, the Managing Director, PPMC, attributed the increase to the existence of arbitrage opportunities in neighbouring countries, saying cross-border smuggling has pushed daily consumption from 35 million lpd to over 55 million lpd.
Dr Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, said in March 2018 that the multiple filling stations across the country had energised unprecedented cross-border smuggling of petrol to neighbouring countries, therefore making it hard to track fuel supply and distribution matrix.
“The NNPC is concerned that continued cross-border smuggling of petrol will deny Nigerians the benefit of the Federal Government’s benevolence of keeping a fix retail price of N145 per litre despite the increase in PMS open market price above N171 per litre,” he added.
He said the price difference between Nigeria and neighbouring countries had resulted in thriving business for Nigerian petrol in Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Cameroon, Chad and Togo.