A shocking manifestation of the economic implication of Nigeria’s dependence on importation of petroleum products emerged last week when Shipping Position Weekly discovered that about 3.9Billion litres (or about 3.26Million metric tonnes of petroleum products were imported into Nigeria within the first quarter of 2009.
Although, it was impossible to do a product-by-product breakdown of the importation, but it was nevertheless confirmed that the three products that are mostly imported are: petrol, diesel and kerosene.
While on the average, petrol sells for N65 per litre, diesel’s average pump price is N90 and kerosene sells for N80 per litre.
The indication is that Nigerians may have expended a whopping N304Billion of petroleum. This is based on the calculated average pump price of the three products which is about N78 per litre.
Our correspondent confirmed that there has been a steady rise in the volume of petroleum imported into the country since the nation’s refineries have broken down or are performing at ridiculously below capacity level.
This also accounts for why many Nigerians have now found the downstream sector of the oil industry very attractive. Apart from the fact that many petroleum product reception facilities or tank farms have sprang up, many middle market operators are now involved in the business.
On the average, more than 1Million metric tonnes of petroleum products arrive Nigeria every month with petrol topping the list.
Available statistics indicate that about 1.09 Million metric tonnes of the products were imported in January, with the figure slightly to about 1.141Million tonnes in February. The volume for March stood at about 1.03Million tonnes.