Petrol imports accounted for 22.4 per cent of the nation’s total imports in 2018, up from 20.6 per cent in 2017, 18.4 per cent in 2016 and 17 per cent in 2015.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been the sole importer of petrol into the country for more than a year as private oil marketers stopped importation due to a shortage of foreign exchange and increase in crude oil prices, which was said to have made the landing cost of the product higher than the official pump price of N145 per litre.
PMS import, which averaged 56.5 million litres per day in January, jumped to a high of 86.4 million lpd in February, according to the data obtained from the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.
It stood at 66.8 million lpd in March, 70.7 million lpd in April, 36.7 million lpd in May, and 34.5 million lpd in June. It was 36.5 million lpd in July, 58.4 million lpd in August, and 57.8 million lpd in September.
Analysis of the data obtained by our correspondent from the PPMC and the Department of Petroleum Resources showed that petrol import averaged 55.1 million litres per day in the first nine months of last year, compared to 48.5 million lpd in the same period in 2016.
PMS import averaged 49.2 million lpd and 49.8 million lpd in 2015 and 2016 respectively, DPR data showed.
In October last year, the Senate initiated a fresh investigation into an alleged illegal subsidy payment on PMS, but the NNPC denied “the insinuation that it has in its custody a $3.5bn subsidy fund.”
The Senate had set up an ad hoc committee to investigate an alleged $3.5bn account kept by the NNPC for petrol subsidy payment.