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Nigeria fuel import bill declined 37% in 2020 to $1.32 due to Covid-19 lockdown

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Nigeria fuel import bills fell 37.14 percent to $1.32 billion in 2020,  from $2.10 billion in the previous year, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown.

Analysts said Nigeria consumed less fuel last year due to the lockdown and restriction imposed by the government on some parts of the country to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to data on sectoral utlisation of foreign exchange in 2020 released by the regulatory bank, fuel import bill was highest in January at $148.32 million and lowest in September at $72.63 million.

In February, the import bill on gasoline dropped to $145.23 million and progressively decline in March to $139.55 million, April at $113.80 million and May at $109.11 million.

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In June the import bill rose marginally to $114.57 million, signally the preparation for the lifting of restrictions on movement in some parts of the country.

However, the import bill again fell sharply to $77.36 million in July, slightly up by August to $82.37 million and again declined to $72.63 million by September.

Nigeria also spent $78.86 million for fuel import in October and $92.91 million in November and $146.95 million in December.

The bulk of the foreign exchange may have passed through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which also imports the bulk of the fuel consumed locally as many independent marketers have restrained from participating in gasoline importation due to inefficient deregulation of the sector.

Also, many of the independent importers could not access foreign exchange from the CBN due to a shortage of hard currency, forcing the regulator bank to ration dollar for importers.


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