The Federal Government spent N2.4 trillion on the importation of fuels and lubricants in 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The agency in its fourth quarter (Q4) foreign and merchandise trade statistics released at the weekend, disclosed that about 18.4 per cent of the total cost was used for the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) during the year under review.
On a quarterly basis Nigeria spent N699.2 billion for the importation of fuels and lubricants, which if retained in the country, could build institutions that would provide jobs for graduates.
The bureau further disaggregation of fuels and lubricants revealed that Premium Motor Spirit dominated fuel and lubricants imports with 20.2 per cent or N469.2 billion, while other fuels and lubricants accounted for the balance of 9.9 per cent during the period.
The bureau said the structure of Nigeria’s export trade is still dominated by crude oil exports, which contributed N2.4 trillion or 81.4 per cent to the value of total domestic export trade in Q4 2016.
The percentage of crude exports to total exports in Q4 thereby decreased to 81.4.0 per cent from 84.3 per cent in Q3, but increased when compared to Q4 2015, accounting for 79.3 per cent of the exports.
It disclosed that Nigeria’s import trade by origin in Q4 showed the country imported goods mostly from China, Belgium, Netherlands, the United States and India. They respectively accounted for N404.1 billion or 17.5 per cent, N356.4 billion or 15.4 per cent, N230.0 billion or 10.0 per cent, N205.6 billion or 8.9 per cent, and N113.9 billion 4.9 per cent of the total value of goods imported during the quarter.
Further analysis of Nigeria’s imports by continent during the period, revealed that it consumed goods largely from Europe with import value of N1, 127.9 billion or 48.9 per cent, adding that it also imported goods valued at N761.9 billion or 33 per cent from Asia and N312.8 billion or 13.6 per cent from the Americas.
The bureau stated: “Import trade from Africa stood at N82.7 billion or 3.6 per cent while imports from the region of ECOWAS amounted to N15.1 billion.
“For full year 2016, Nigeria imported mostly from China with 19.7 per cent of total imports followed by the Netherlands, 11.7 per cent then the USA, eight years.
“With respect to import by continent, Nigeria imported the most from Europe, 46.7 per cent then Asia, 35.8 per cent and the Americas, 12.2 per cent. Nigerian imports from Africa stood at 4.1 per cent of total imports in 2016, with imports from within ECOWAS at 1.2 per cent.”
The total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of Q4 was N5, 286.6 billion, or 10.6 per cent above the N4.781 billion recorded in Q3.
“Total export value for fourth quarter of 2016 stood at N2.978 billion, which was 28.3 per cent more than the value of the previous quarter. Total import for fourth quarter of 2016 was N2.308 billion, which represented a decrease of 6.1 per cent with the value of the preceding quarter.
“The much faster rise in the value of exports relative to the rise in imports brought the Country’s trade balance to N671.3 billion during the review period, showing a stark improvement from the negative trade balance of -N136 billion recorded in the preceding quarter.
“This development stemmed from a rise of N656.3 billion or 28.3 per cent, in the value of exports combined with a decline of N150.9 billion or 6.1 per cent, in the value of imports against the levels recorded in the preceding quarter,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN), Emeka Obidike, said indigenous blenders are constantly being threatened with the shutting down of their plants and seizure of their consignments.
He said they are also persistently faced with the risk of losing their businesses, corrosion of their goodwill and professional integrity, asphyxiating demurrages and transactions and default in the repayment of facilities.
Obidike alleged that the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had in many occasions confiscated their consignments and also gone ahead to detain the consignments of importers, insisting on being presented with NAFDAC licences and proof of payment of dues.
He explained that LUPAN members are duly licensed by the DPR to import, store and blend base oil in Nigeria.
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