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NIGERIA spent N2.068 trillion on the importation of petroleum products within a nine-month period, from January to September 2017, rising by 14.32 per cent from N1.809 trillion recorded in the same period in 2016.
According to data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics’, NBS, Foreign Trade Statistics for Third Quarter 2017, of the total petroleum products imported, N1.541 trillion was spent on the importation of premium motor spirit, also known as petrol.
Breakdown of the country’s petroleum products import on a quarter-on-quarter basis showed that N757.397 billion, N707.475 billion and N602.889 billion were spent on the importation of the commodities in the first, second and third quarters respectively, compared to N434.39 billion, N598.36 billion and N776.947 billion recorded in the first, second and third quarters of 2016 respectively.
The petroleum products listed by the NBS included petrol, gas oil, lubricating oil and kerosene.
In the third quarter of 2017 alone, the country spent N476.755 billion on petrol import, representing 20.30 per cent of total imports in the same period, while gas oil import accounted for 2.42 per cent of the country’s total import with N56.752 billion.
Lubricants import gulped N32.0 billion; representing 1.36 per cent of total import in the third quarter of 2017, while N16.537 billion was spent on kerosene import.
The NBS put the country’s total exports in the third quarter of 2017 at N3.573 trillion, representing a 15.19 per cent growth compared to the second quarter of the same year and a 53.85 per cent growth compared to the third quarter in 2016.
It also noted that total imports in the reviewing quarter, in contrast, decreased to N2.349 trillion, representing a decline of 9.41 per cent quarter- on -quarter and 4.47 per cent on a year -on -year basis.
“Trade balance of Nigeria in third quarter 2017 amounted to N1.225 trillion, due to a continued value increase in exports and a decline in imports. This figure in the third quarter more than doubled the value in the previous quarter and it is the first time that trade balance exceeds N1 trillion since the last quarter of 2014.
The report noted that exports in the third quarter was still oil dependent, as crude oil exports were recorded N2.972 trillion in the third quarter and it remained the majority of total exports, accounting for 83.17 per cent.
Crude oil exports, the report added grew faster than non-crude oil exports as crude oil exports accounted for 78.18 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, while non-oil products only contributed to 3.54 per cent of total exports in the quarter.
Continuing, the report said, “Nigeria’s import trade stood at N2.349 trillion in third quarter 2017, among which N648.83 billion imports were machinery and transport equipment, representing 27.63 per cent of total import; and N602.89 billion imports were mineral fuel, representing 25.67 per cent.
“The value of the first category stated above in total imports increased by 20.59 per cent while the second one decreased by 14.78 per cent from the previous quarter. Machinery and transport equipment also replaced mineral products as the top imported products in the reviewing quarter.”
The report also added that, “In the third quarter, most imported products are from Europe and Asia, which contributed to 43.51 per cent and 39.62 per cent of the total imports respectively.
“Nigeria’s import trade by direction showed that the country imported goods mostly from China, USA, Netherlands, India and UK, which respectively accounted for 22.26 per cent or N522.84 billion; 7.98 per cent, N187.43 billion; 7.64 per cent, representing N179.45 billion; 5.08 per cent, representing N119.33 billion; and 4.11 per cent, representing N96.63 billion.
“China remained the top importing partner while USA replaced Belgium to be the second largest importing partner for Nigeria in the third quarter.
Import from Africa accounted for N103.10 billion or 4.39 per cent of the total value and import from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) accounted for N28.60 billion or 1.22 per cent of the total value.”