Nigeria may have spent about N813Billion on about 5.61Billion litres of imported premium motor spirit, also called petrol in the second quarter of 2019 alone, even as concerns are rising over smuggling of the product to some African countries.
There are fears that, a large chunk of the volume are not for the domestic market.
The figure of 5.61 billion litres was released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The official pump price of petrol is N145 per litre.
The NBS released the consumption details in its Petroleum Products Imports and Consumption (Truck Out) Statistics for Second Quarter, 2019 on its official website.
The NBS, in the report, said 5.61bn litres of PMS were imported, up from the 4.87 billion litres in the first quarter of the year.
It also reported that 1.38 billion litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) also known as diesel, 12.22 million litres of kerosene and 131.36 million litres of aviation fuel were imported.
The report also indicated that 77.24 million litres of base oil, 41.79 million litres of bitumen and 27.68 million litres of Low Pour Fuel Oil were imported in the period under review.
According to the report, 354.70 million litres of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was also imported into the country in the second quarter of the year.
The NBS said that state-wide distribution or truck-out volume for the second quarter showed that 5.18 billion litres of petrol were distributed nationwide.
It said that 1.28 billion litres of diesel, 131.42 million litres of household kerosene, 176.14 million litres of aviation fuel and 157.29 million litres of domestic gas were distributed nationwide during the period.
The data for the report was provided by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, verified and validated by the NBS.
But, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had said last month that petrol was being smuggled out of the country to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire as a result of the price disparity of PMS between Nigeria and the other West African countries.
The NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Mr Henry Ikem-Obih, said during a panel session at the Nigeria Oil and Gas conference in Abuja that: “In some of those markets (countries), as we speak, the pump price is around N430 per litre. So if you check the difference, wherein Nigeria it is N145 per litre, and the rest of those markets, where you get it for between N350 and N430 per litre, you will realise that clearly there are some incentives”.
He also said the NNPC had been collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service and other security agencies to address the issue, expressing hope that the smuggling of PMS out of the country would end soon.