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Refineries Remain Dormant as Petrol Import Hits N17 Billion Six Months to End of Current Administration

The Federal government has spent about N17 Trillion on import of not less than 132.24 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as Petrol. This is six month to the end of current administration led by President Mohammadu Buhari.

Figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited showed that Nigeria relied majorly on petrol imports since the current administration came on board.

This is because the country’s refineries have remained dormant for years, though the government is currently revamping the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries. The rehabilitation of the facilities is to gulp about $2.9bn.

The continued importation of petrol and the humongous amount spent in subsidising the commodity have been described as alarming by industry operators and analysts, who called on the President to fully deregulate the downstream oil sector.

President Buhari who also doubled as petroleum Minister is billed to leave office in May 2023 had pledged to revamp the Refineries in 2015 on assumption in office and may have about seven months to fulfill the promise of getting Nigeria’s refineries working.

Petrol import figures showed that between June and December 2015, Nigeria imported 9.47 billion litres of petrol valued at N1.05tn.

A total of 18.81 billion litres of petrol was imported into Nigeria in 2016, with a worth of N2.01tn, according to figures from the NBS.

The total petrol imports into Nigeria through the Direct Sale Direct Purchase scheme of NNPC in 2017 was 12.97 billion litres, valued at about N1.58tn.

Under the DSDP scheme, selected overseas refiners, trading companies and indigenous companies are allocated crude supplies in exchange for the delivery of an equal value of petrol and other refined products to the NNPC.

In 2018, figures from NNPC showed that it imported 18.83 billion litres of petrol through the DSDP scheme. The worth of the commodity, based on NNPC data, was about N2.31tn.

Also, in 2019 the oil company imported 16.63 billion litres of petrol through its DSDP scheme. The value of the imported PMS in that year was about N2.4tn.

Still under the DSDP scheme, the NNPC imported 16.72 billion litres of PMS that was worth about N1.86tn in 2020.

The NNPC, in October this year, stated that between January and August 2022, the total volume of petrol imported into the country was 16.46 billion litres.

The company also revealed that petrol imports in 2021 were estimated at 22.35 billion litres, translating to an average supply of 61 million litres per day.

Going by the N147/litre price of the commodity as sold at NNPC approved depots, it therefore implies that the company spent about N2.41tn on PMS imports between January and August 2022.

It also spent about N3.28tn to import the commodity in 2021, going by the 22.35 billion litres it imported last year.

A summation of the volumes of petrol and the amount spent during the period captured above indicated that the country had so far spent about N16.9tn on the importation of 132.24 billion litres of PMS under the regime of Buhari.

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