The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, disclosed that the sum of $119.409bn was spent on the importation of commodities into the country in five years, revealing that $36.371bn of the amount went to the importation of petroleum products from 2013 to 2017.
This shows that fuel import represents 30.4 per cent of the total sum expended on the importation of commodities into the country.
The Director in charge of Research in the apex bank, Mr Ganiyu Amao made the disclosure while testifying before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Refineries Turn Around Maintenance, TAM.
Amao, who spoke on behalf of the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the apex bank had taken several measures that helped in curtailing excessive and unnecessary outflow of foreign exchange and ensuring the stabilization of the naira.
He also lamented that the huge expenditure on importation had affected the nation’s external reserve and induced the depreciation of the naira.
The CBN Director said: “Data from the CBN show that from 2013 to 2017, a total of foreign exchange committed to imports in the country stood at $119.409bn, while the total foreign exchange committed to imports in the oil sector stood at $36.371bn, representing 13.5 per cent of all imports made by the country.
“It greatly exerts serious pressure on our external reserve and depreciates the value of our local currency.”
He maintained that domestic fuel consumption rose from 4.5 million metric tons, MT, to 23.9 million metric tons in 2013, and dropped to 2.6 million MT in 2016, adding that a policy that compels International Oil companies, IOCs, to refine at least half of the crude that they produce for domestic consumption, is favoured by the apex bank