03 September 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that the country spent $2.577 billion on the importation of crude oil and gas in the first quarter of 2018.
However, the CBN did not specify the actual amount of oil imported, as well as the actual volume of gas, and the country from which they were imported.
According to the CBN, crude oil and gas import in the first quarter of 2018 represented an increase of 99.5 percent compared with $1.3 billion imported in the fourth quarter of 2018 and a 6.4 percent increase compared with $2.42 billion worth of crude oil and gas imported in the first quarter of 2017.
The CBN said, “Available data showed that payments for import of goods (Free on Board) to the economy in the review period grew by 13.9 percent to $8.642 billion above the level recorded in the preceding period. This was largely as a result of 99.5 percent increase in the imports of petroleum products.”
On the other hand, the CBN noted that crude oil and gas exports rose by 10.1 percent and 45 percent from $12.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 and $9.26 billion in the first quarter 2017 respectively, to $13.43 billion in the first quarter of 2018.
To this end, the CBN said, “The provisional Balance of Payments (BOP) estimates for first quarter 2018 showed a significant improvement in the country’s position as the overall balance of payments indicated a surplus of $7.322 billion compared with a surplus of $6.18 billion in the preceding quarter.
“It also indicated a better position when compared to a surplus of $2.976 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The current account balance (CAB) also improved significantly from a surplus of $3.656 billion in fourth quarter 2017 to a surplus of $4.469 billion in first quarter 2018.
“The financial account balance indicated a net acquisition of financial assets of $10.293 billion in the review period as against $3.859 billion recorded in the preceding period.”
The CBN added that export earnings rose by 10.2 percent to $14.394 billion in first quarter 2018 when compared with fourth quarter 2017, indicating an increase of about 44.4 percent when compared to first quarter 2017.
It disclosed that earnings from crude oil and gas, which accounted for 93.3 percent of total export earnings during the review period, increased by 10.1 percent to $13.427 billion in first quarter 2018 when compared with the preceding quarter.
“Earnings from non-oil and electricity exports also increased by 12.3 percent to US$967.08 million in first quarter 2018 when compared with the preceding quarter,” the CBN noted.