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Nigeria spent a whopping N1.13 trillion on petrol importation between January and September 2019, latest report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed. The report stated that Nigeria still largely imports petrol (known as Premium Motor Spirit) as the country’s refineries remain in a moribund state.

Though, there is a huge decline in the amount spent on petrol importation into the country, the border closure did not have much effect as the volume of petrol importation rose.

Petrol importation drops by N1.15 trillion (YoY)

The data also revealed that N2.28 trillion was spent on the importation of the commodity in the same period in 2018. It means the amount spent to import petrol dropped by N1.15 trillion, which represents a 50.33% drop.

[READ MORE: Petrol importation: FG shifts goal post to 2023)

  • A further breakdown shows that between Q2 and Q3 2019, petrol importation dropped by N203.48 billion. In Q2 2019, Nigeria imported N575.2 billion worth of petrol while the figure dropped to N371.70 billion in Q3 2019.
  • Despite the drop in the amount spent to import petrol into the country, further analysis shows that the volume of petrol importation in Nigeria is on the rise.
  • In 9-month (January – September 2019), Nigeria imported 15.5 billion litres of petrol, compared to 14.82 billion litres of Petrol imported in the corresponding period of 2018. This means while the value dropped, the volume of petrol importation went northward.

Petrol importation gulps N1.13 trillion in 2019, as Nigeria fails another deadline 

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FG continues to extend deadline to stop importation

Petroleum product has continued to form an important driver of Nigeria’s foreign trade, and efforts to stop petrol importation by revamping the country’s refineries have continued to prove abortive.

  • In January 2019, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) affirmed that it was keen on meeting its December 2019 deadline proposed by the Federal Government to end the importation of petroleum products.
  • The 2019 December deadline is here, the country’s refineries remain in a state of quagmire.
  • Expectedly, the Federal Government (FG) once again shifted the goal post as it moved the date scheduled for the nation to stop the importation refined petroleum products from 2019 to 2023. This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari.

According to Kyari“For a country that has been producing oil for over 50 years, it is really a difficulty to explain why we are still importing petroleum products.

[READ MORE: Petrol importation: FG shifts goal post to 2023) 

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“We have a clear mandate of Mr President to stop this and we believe this can be done between now and 2023. It is not a political deadline; it is a realistic technical deadline that we can deliver,”

With the new deadline, it means Nigeria has now shifted the deadline to stop importation three times, from 2017 to 2023.

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NNPC inks $1.16 million deal to deliver power project, NNPC inks deal to boost Nigeria's oil reserve base
Mele Kyari

Petrol importation rises despite border closure

While the expenditure spent on importing petrol into the country has dropped significantly, petrol importation and subsidy payment remain endemic issues of the Nigerian economy.

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  • In an attempt to stifle importation of certain goods into the country, the FG shut the Nigeria-Benin Border, and some analysts were of the opinion that the shut border might expose some fraud behind Petrol importation in the country.
  • Meanwhile, the latest report suggests more influx of petrol is being imported into the country despite the country’s border closure. In the meantime, the struggle for petrol importation continues until the new 2023 deadline fixed by the Nigerian government.

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