The latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria have shown that the quantity of foreign exchange used for oil imports in 2020 was $1.32bn, compared to $2.10bn in 2019.
The CBN’s data on sectoral utilisation for transactions valid for forex revealed that $148.32m was utilised in January for oil imports; $145.23m in February, and $139.55m in March.
Also, the Forex for oil importation fell to $113.80m in April and $109.11m in May but rose to $114.57m in June.
It stood at $77.36m in July; $82.37m in August; $72.63m in September; $78.86m in October; $92.91m in November and $146.95m in December.
While the CBN did not specify the oil imported into the country, Nigeria’s oil imports consist mainly of petrol, diesel and kerosene.
The effect of the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country top-list the reasons for the plunge in fuel consumption and importation.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been the major importer of petroleum products and sole importer of petrol into the country in recent years amid a lack of full deregulation in the downstream oil sector and scarcity of forex.
According to the apex bank, the nation’s forex reserves have been fluctuating in recent months, rising from a low of $34.42bn on March 18 to $35.25bn on April 16.The reserves dropped to $35.09bn on April 23.