The nation’s spending on importation of petrol plummeted to N1.713 trillion in 2019, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday have shown.
The 2019 figure signals a 42% fall when set beside the figure posted in 2018, which stood at N2.95 trillion.
Similarly, Nigeria’s petrol import spending in 2019 constituted 10.75 per cent of the total amount of goods imported into the country last year.
However, it was lower than what was recorded in 2018 when petrol made up 22.4 per cent of Nigeria’s total imports, standing at N13.16 trillion.
The negative growth partially resulted from the decline in the average price of Brent crude, against which Nigeria’s Bonny Light is benchmarked, in 2019.
Brent Crude averaged $64 per barrel last year relative to the $71 it sold for in 2018.
The N1.713 trillion expended on importing petrol translated to 66.9 per cent of the total N2.56 trillion spent on fuel and lubricants.
According to the NBS report, Nigeria’s imports in 2019 totalled N16.96 trillion, 28.8 per cent more than the N13.17 trillion recorded in 2018.
Europe emerged Nigeria’s principal trading partner in 2019, accounting for N7.62 trillion. Asia came next with N5.42 trillion while Africa came third with N3.92 trillion.
Oceania was responsible for N183 billion.
In 2019, India came top as Nigeria’s highest trading partner with N2.96 trillion; ECOWAS sub-region was second with N2.24 trillion; Spain came third with N1.9 trillion while the US came fourth with N1.01 trillion.
“On an annual basis, the value of total trade in 2019 was recorded at N36.152 trillion, representing a 14.05 per cent increase over 2018. However, this was lower than 36.86 per cent increase recorded in 2018 over 2017.
“The level of imports stood at N16.959 trillion while exports were valued at N19.192 trillion, resulting in a trade balance of N2.232 trillion. Imports rose by 28.8 per cent in 2019 over 2018, exports rose by only 3.6 per cent, while the trade balance was 58.4 per cent less than in 2018,” the report says.
In the fourth quarter of last year, Nigeria’s total trade value was N10.12 trillion, a 10.15 per cent growth over the figure posted in the third quarter and 25.9 per cent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.