Nigeria’s fuel import defies pandemic, rises by 17% to N2.01trn

Ike Amos

Abuja — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which ensured a slowdown in economic activities for a significant part of 2020, locally and globally, Nigeria’s fuel import appreciated by 17.22 per cent to N2.007 trillion, from N1.713 trillion spent on the import of the commodity in 2019, according to data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The NBS, in its Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics for the Fourth Quarter of 2020, also disclosed that PMS import accounted for 10.1 per cent of Nigeria’s total import in 2020, which stood at N19.898 trillion.

Giving a breakdown of the figures, the NBS report noted that in the first quarter of 2020, before the pandemic-induced lockdown commenced, Nigeria spent N1.003 trillion on the import of PMS, compared to N190.78 spent on the commodity in the same period in 2019.

In addition, it noted that in the second quarter of 2020, fuel import dropped by 91.32 per cent to N87.08 billion, compared to N575.28 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2019.

While in the third and fourth quarters of 2020, PMS import rose to N532.62 billion and N573.7 billion, respectively, compared to N371.8 billion and N574.88 billion in the third and fourth quarter of 2019, respectively.
However, the NBS noted that in 2018, Nigeria’s PMS import stood at N2.95 trillion, while in 2017, in stood at a total of N1.97 trillion.

Specifically, the statistics agency stated that Nigeria recorded total trade of N32.42 trillion in 2020, dropping by 10.3 per cent from N36.15 trillion recorded in 2019.

It added that the value of total imports in 2020 stood at N19.898 trillion, or 17.3 per cent higher than the N16.96 trillion recorded in 2019, while total exports was valued at N12.523 trillion, or 34.8 per cent less than N19.19 trillion recorded in 2019.

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The NBS disclosed that the country recorded trade deficit of N7.375 trillion in the 2020 fiscal year.

It also stated that Nigeria exported crude oil valued at N9.44 trillion in 2020, dropping by 35.7 per cent from N14.69 trillion recorded in 2020, and representing 75.42 per cent of total exports; while non-crude oil exports stood at N3.078 trillion in 2020, compared to N4.502 trillion in 2019.

Giving a breakdown of crude oil export in the fourth quarter of 2020, the NBS noted that N887.63 billion worth of crude oil was shipped to Asia; N853.41 billion worth of crude oil , was exported to Europe; while N431.37 billion, N333.45 billion and N15.49 billion worth of crude oil was exported to other Africa countries, America and Oceania, respectively.

In addition, the NBS disclosed that India, South Africa, Spain and Netherlands, purchased Nigeria’s crude oil valued at N516.82 billion, N256.55 billion, N243.02 billion and N190.74 billion, respectively in the fourth quarter.

Furthermore, it stated that Nigeria exported crude oil valued at N142.6 billion, N135.54 billion, N101.15 billion, 78.89 billion, N65.14 billion and N57.55 billion to the United States, Canada, Turkey, France, Portugal and China respectively in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Summarising the country’s trade performance in the fourth quarter of 2020, the NBS said: “In the fourth quarter of 2020, Nigeria’s total merchandise trade stood at N9.12 trillion, representing 8.9 per cent over the level recorded in the third quarter of 2020 but was 9.9 per cent lower when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.”

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