Crude-oil-tankerNigeria spent N226.215 billion on the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, in the first quarter of 2016, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The NBS in its Foreign Trade Statistics for the First Quarter of 2016 disclosed that PMS importation accounted for 15.56 percent of Nigeria’s total imports in the quarter under review.

In addition to the PMS imports, the country spent N12.016 billion on the importation of lubricating oils. PMS and lubricant, as well as other petroleum products import, brought total mineral products import to N263 billion, representing 18.1 percent of total imports.

The NBS put Nigeria’s total import trade at the end of the first quarter of 2016 at N1.454 trillion, representing a decline of 7.8 per cent from N1.576 trillion recorded at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015, while it also represented a dip of 15.8 per cent or N273.7 billion when compared with total imports in the corresponding quarter of 2015.

According to the NBS, the structure of Nigeria’s import trade according to Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) was dominated by the imports of Machinery and transport equipment; Mineral Fuel; and Chemicals and related products, which accounted for 34.7 per cent, 17.4 per cent and 14.7 per cent respectively in 2016. “These commodities contributed the most to the value of import trade in first quarter of 2016, whereas commodities such as crude inedible materials; oils, fats & waxes; and beverages & tobacco contributed the least, accounting for 1.5 per cent, 0.8 per cent, and 0.6 per cent respectively,” NBS stated.

Import trade by section was dominated by the imports of boilers, machinery and appliances, which accounted for N378.4 billion or 26.0 percent of the total value of import trade. Other commodities which contributed noticeably to the value of import trade in the period under review were Mineral Products at N263.0 billion (18.1%), and Products of the chemical and allied industries at N137.0 billion (9.4%); Vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof; vessels etc. at N127.8 billion (8.8 %) and base metals and articles of base metals at N105.1 billion (7.2%).

Nigeria’s highest import destination in the quarter under review was China, as Nigeria imported N345.5 billion worth of goods from the country.

The United States followed accounting for N127.087 billion of Nigeria’s total import, while Belgium, India, Netherlands and the United Kingdom accounted for N114.16 billion, N89.38 billion, N73.777 billion and N61.38 billion respectively.

Others are France, N58.24 billion; Brazil, N50.06 billion; Germany, N44.9 billion and Italy, N31.06 billion.

By Pita Ochai

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