Nigeria apex bank, CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, disclosed that the sum of $119.409billion was spent on the importation of commodities into the country in five years. Of the amount, $36.371billion was expended on the importation of petroleum products from 2013 to 2017.
The Director in charge of Research in the apex bank, Mr Ganiyu Amao made the disclosure while testifying before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Refineries Turn Around Maintenance, TAM.
Amao also lamented that the huge expenditure had affected the nation’s external reserve and induced the depreciation of the naira. 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 $119.409billion, while the total foreign exchange committed to imports in the oil sector stood at $36.371billion, representing 13.5percent of all imports made by the country. “It greatly exerts serious pressure on our external reserve and depreciates the value of our local currency.” He added that domestic consumption which he said rose from 4.5 million metric tons to 23.9million metric tons in 2013, however dropped to 2.6m metric tons in 2016.
He revealed that CBN subscribed to policies that compelled International Oil companies, IOCs, to refine some of the crude for domestic consumption. Meanwhile, the Committee gave the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, 24 hours to provide relevant information relating to installed capacity, volume of crude supply and output, as well as the Turn Around Maintenance of the four refineries. Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Dattin Muhammad (APC, Kaduna) expressed displeasure that NNPC which was central to the probe was not forthcoming with vital documents. He alleged that some stakeholders were bent on frustrating the investigation by refusing to avail the committee necessary information.