The amount spent on the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) rose to N2.11tn in 2020– a 17.54 percent increase against the previous year.
According to the data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics, the country spent N1.71tn on petrol imports in 2019, down from N2.95tn in 2018.
The data also showed that petrol topped the list of products imported into the country, accounting for 11.7 per cent of the total amount spent on imported products from January to September.
In the first quarter of 2020, Nigeria spent N1 trillion on petroleum importation. It spent N87.08 billion, N532.62 billion and N574.69 billion on the second, third and fourth quarter respectively in the same year.
Petrol imports jumped to N573.69bn in the fourth quarter of 2020 from N532.62bn in Q3 and N87.08bn in Q2. In the first three months of 2020, the country spent N1tn on the importation of petrol.
Fuel consumption and imports plunged to a record low in Q2 2020 amid the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Nigeria relies largely on the importation of refined petroleum products as its refineries have remained in a state of disrepair for many years despite several reported repairs.
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the volume of petrol imported into the country through the Direct Sale Direct Purchase scheme fell from a high of 2.25 billion litres in March to 1.81 billion litres in April and 495.10 million litres in May.
The NNPC has been the sole importer of petrol into the country in recent years. Private marketers have yet to resume petrol importation due to a lack of full deregulation of petrol price and access to foreign exchange at the official rate.