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JUST IN: Nigeria’s fuel import bill rises by 42% to N1.09trn in six months

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…Records 39% dip in crude oil export to N4.5trn

Nigeria’s fuel import bill rises by 42% to N1.09trn in six months

By Michael Eboh

Nigeria spent N1.09 trillion to import Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, in the first six months of 2020, rising by 42.3 per cent, compared to N766.06 trillion recorded in the same period in 2019, according to data obtained, weekend, from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.

The NBS, in a series of reports, however, disclosed that the country’s crude oil export dropped sharply by 38.5 per cent to N4.5 trillion in the first half of 2020, compared with N7.32 trillion earned from crude oil export in the first half of 2019.

In addition, the value of crude oil exported in the first half of 2020, represented a decline of 39.02 per cent, compared with N7.38 trillion earned from the export of crude oil in the second half of 2019.

The sharp increase in the value of Nigeria’s PMS export can be attributed to the devaluation of the country’s currency, with the dollar reaching as high as N480 to a dollar in the parallel market, compared to N379 to a dollar in the official market, from about N307 to the dollar, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the contrary, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority, PPPRA, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had declared a significant reduction in Nigeria’s fuel import and fuel consumption figure since March 2020, going by the COVID-19 pandemic induced global lockdown, which started from March.

The lockdown can also be blamed for the drop in Nigeria’s crude oil export in the first half of 2020, as the supply glut that followed the pandemic, forced the price of crude oil into the negative terrain in April, called ‘Black April’, while demand for crude oil crashed, in some cases to zero, with storage space for the crude oil causing major concern globally, as the world seemed to run out of space to store crude oil.

In the second quarter of 2020, the NBS stated that Nigeria spent N87.08 billion on fuel import; while N1.003 trillion was spent in the first quarter, according to the updated figure provided by the NBS.

READ ALSO: Fuel price hike: FG currently not financially able to pay subsidy – Sylva

This was in comparison with N190.78 billion spent on fuel import in the first quarter of 2019, and N575.28 billion spent in the second quarter of 2019.

Petrol import, according to the NBS reports, accounted for 2.16 per cent of Nigeria’s total imports in the second quarter of 2020, the fourth largest import in the second quarter, topped by used vehicles import, which gulped N198.4 billion and accounting for 4.93 per cent of total imports; durum wheat import, which accounted for 4.01 per cent of total imports with N161.35 billion and motorcycles import, which accounted for 2.29 per cent of total imports in the second quarter, with N92.09 billion.

The NBS further stated that in the first and second quarter of 2020, crude oil export stood at N2.94 trillion and N1.55 trillion respectively, compared with N3.38 trillion and N3.94 trillion in the first and second quarter of 2019 respectively.

Crude oil export, the NBS noted, accounted for 70.01 per cent of Nigeria’s total export in the second quarter of 2020, with The Netherlands emerging the highest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil in the second quarter, with N221.68 billion; followed by China, with the purchase of N189.91 billion worth of Nigeria’s crude oil; while South Africa purchased N171.78 billion crude oil from Nigeria.

Nigeria also exported crude oil valued at N147.61 billion, N133.98 billion, N68.94 billion and N67.38 billion to India, Spain, Togo and Indonesia respectively in the second quarter of 2020.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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