Nigeria splashes N12trn on petroleum products in one year – NBS

Nigeria spent about N12trn on the importation of petroleum products, including premium motor spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, in 2023.

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Foreign Trade Statistics for the Fourth Quarter of 2023 disclosed that fuel import for 2023 rose by 18.68 per cent when compared with the N10trn spent to import the commodity in 2022.

Specifically, the statistics agency stated that the country spent N7.5trn on PMS import, dropping by 2.51 per cent compared with N7.7trn fuel imported in 2022.

The NBS reported that petroleum products imports accounted for about 33 per cent of total imports of about N36trn in 2023, while PMS imports accounted for about 21 per cent of total imports.

Nigeria as an oil-producing country is expected to be able to refine its petroleum products, however, non-functional refineries have forced the country into importing most of the products consumed in-country.

Giving a breakdown of the amount spent on petroleum products imported every quarter, the NBS stated that N3.3trn, N3.4trn, N2.2trn and about N3trn worth of petrol were imported in the first, second, third and fourth quarters of 2023, respectively.

In comparison, the NBS reported that in the first, second, third and fourth quarters of 2022, the country spent N3.5trn, N2.4trn, N2.3trn and N1.9trn on fuel imports, respectively.

In addition, in January, February, March, April, May and June 2023, the NBS noted that N1trn, N879bn, N1trn, N913bn, N774bn and N540bn, respectively, while in July, August, September, October, November and December 2023, the country spent N959bn, N1.3trn, N1.7trn, N1.3trn, N1.2trn and N810bn on fuel import, respectively.

In its analysis of fourth quarter data, the NBS reported that PMS imports accounted for about 13 per cent of total imports, ranking second on the most imported commodity, just after motorised tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, which cost the country N5.1trn to import.

Gas oil ranked third on the import list, as the country spent N1.2trn to import the commodity, while aviation fuel (kerosene) import gulped N239bn, emerging as the fourth most imported commodity in the fourth quarter.

Other major commodities imported in the fourth quarter include components of gas turbines – N117bn and lubricating oils – N47bn.

The NBS said: “In the fourth quarter of 2023, total imports increased by 56.04 per cent compared to the value recorded in the third quarter of 2023 (N9.041 trillion) and by 163.08 per cent when compared to the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2022 (N5.363 trillion).

“In terms of Imports (Cost, Insurance and Freight), the top five trading partners were Singapore with goods valued at N5.092 trillion or 36.09 per cent, China with N2.061 trillion or 14.61 per cent, Belgium with N1.141 trillion or 8.09 per cent, India with N908.59 billion or 6.44 per cent and The United States of America with goods valued at N512.99 billion or 3.64 per cent. The values of imports from the top five countries amounted to N9.716 trillion, representing a share of 68.86 per cent of total imports.”