The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has reported that total expenditures by Nigeria on importation of refined petroleum products for the five year period ended 2017 stood at $36.371billion.

The amount represented about 30.45 per cent of the total sum of $119.409 billion spent on the importation of commodities into the country from 2013 to 2017.

The apex bank’s Director of Research, Mr Ganiyu Amao, gave these figures while testifying before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Refineries Turn Around Maintenance, TAM.

The Director pointed out that the huge expenditure on fuel imports impacted negatively on the nation’s foreign reserves value and also induced the depreciation of the national currency during the period.

He said: “Data from the CBN show that from 2013 to 2017, a total of foreign exchange committed to imports in the country stood at $119.409 billion, while the total foreign exchange committed to imports in the oil sector stood at $36.371 billion, representing 13.5 percent of all imports made by the country.

“It greatly exerts serious pressure on our external reserve and depreciates the value of our local currency”, Amao added.

He explained further that domestic petroleum products consumption which rose from 4.5 million metric tons to 23.9 million metric tons in 2013, however dropped to 2.6m metric tons in 2016, following increased volume of locally refined products in the downstream sub-sector.

Amao confirmed that this was achieved partly by CBN’s subscription to policies that compelled International Oil companies, IOCs, to refine some of their crude oil for domestic consumption.