12 September 2016, Lagos – Nigeria, in spite of the declining economic fortunes, spent N595.5 billion on the importation of fuel in the first six months of 2016, rising by N34.3 billion from the amount spent in the last six months of 2015.
According to data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the country spent N276.226 billion on petrol import in the first quarter of 2016, while N319.28 billion was spent in the second quarter.
The NBS report showed that the amount spent on fuel importation appreciated by 6.1 percent, compared with N561.2 billion spent in the second half of 2015.
However, the report pointed out that the amount spent on fuel import in the first half of 2016 was 12.18 percent lower, which is N82.63 billion less than the N678.13 billion spent on fuel imports in the first half of 2015.
The report also highlighted that the country spent N1.24 trillion on the importation of fuel in 2015.
For the first half of 2016, the NBS disclosed that Nigeria recorded total imports of N3.57 trillion
This meant that fuel imports accounted for 16.7 percent of Nigeria’s total import in the first six months of 2016.
Also, data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, revealed that the oil sector accounted for 19 percent of total foreign exchange disbursements of $5.85 billion by the CBN in the first quarter of 2016.
On the other hand, the CBN noted that in the second quarter of 2016, the oil sector accounted for 23.3 per cent of the $6.09 billion foreign exchange disbursed by the CBN in the second quarter of 2016.
Recently, though, the difficulty in accessing foreign exchange and the declining value of the naira had made imported fuel expensive, a development which had led to calls in some quarters for a further hike in the price of the commodity.
This situation was further worsened by the inability of the country to fix the refineries, making the country to rely mainly on importation and other arrangements entered into by the NNPC, for about 95 per cent of the country’s fuel consumption.