By Frank Tietie
What malignant fate has befallen this country, even as an oil producing country?
1.7 trillion naira to import fuel, only in one year?
How does organized civil society achieve anything towards the progress of Nigeria?
They hold protests, rallies, file court cases, shout on radio and television, collect donor funds and hold endless programmes in which they talk and drink tea or coffee and, then nothing changes. In fact everything remains the same perhaps, even worse.
Nigeria still remains the same old corrupt and unprogressive state characterized with poverty, insecurity, unemployment, bad governance, oppression, illegality, injustice and so on.
Aren’t we tired of the charade we call nation building while barely living for any essence?
Can’t we be preoccupied by how to get out of this cyclical quagmire of retrogression?
Is living in Nigeria akin to living in bondage?
When will we wake up from the inebriation caused by the constant high doses of religion, ethnicity and
The Vanguard Newspaper story Mr. Tietie was reacting to:
Nigeria spent N1.7trn to import fuel in 2019
Nigeria spent N1.713 trillion on the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, in 2019, according to data obtained Monday, from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
In its Foreign Trade Statistics for the Fourth Quarter of 2019 released recently, the NBS revealed that the amount the country spent on fuel import in 2019 declined by 41.9 per cent from N2.95 trillion spent on the import of the commodity in 2018.
According to the NBS data, fuel import accounted for 10.1 per cent of Nigeria’s total import in 2019, compared to 22.4 per cent recorded in 2018.
In addition, the report noted that PMS import accounted for 66.9 per cent of the total of N2.56 trillion spent on fuels and lubricants.
The report noted that total imports stood at N16.96 trillion, appreciating by 28.8 per cent from N13.17 trillion recorded in 2018.
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The NBS disclosed that Europe remained Nigeria’s major trading partner in 2019, with N7.62 trillion, followed by Asia and Africa, with N5.42 trillion and N3.92 trillion, while Nigeria’s trading with Oceania stood at N183 billion.
India emerged Nigeria’s highest trading partner in 2019 with N2.96 trillion; followed by the ECOWAS sub-region with N2.24 trillion; Spain N1.9 trillion and United States N1.01 trillion.
The NBS added that, “On an annual basis, the value of total trade in 2019 was recorded at N36.152 trillion, representing a 14.05 per cent increase over 2018. However, this was lower than 36.86 per cent recorded in 2018 over 2017.
“The level of imports stood at N16.959 trillion while exports were valued at N19,192.2 billion, resulting in a trade balance of N2.232 trillion. While imports rose by 28.8 per cent in 2019 over 2018, exports rose by only 3.6 per cent, and the trade balance was 58.4 per cent less than in 2018.”
Specifically, for fourth quarter 2019, the NBS stated that, “The value of Nigeria’s total trade stood at N10,120.20 billion in fourth quarter 2019, representing a 10.15 per cent increase over the value recorded in third quarter 2019 and 25.9 per cent increase relative to fourth quarter 2018.
“The value of the export component (N4.771 trillion) fell by 9.79 per cent against third quarter 2019 but rose by 7.06 per cent when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2018.
“On the other hand, the import component (valued at N5.349 trillion) increased by 37.20 per cent in fourth quarter against third quarter 2019 and 49.34 per cent against fourth quarter 2018.
“The faster increase in imports resulted in a negative trade balance of N579.06 billion during the quarter under review, the first since mid-2016.”
▪ Tietie, a legal practitioner and activist, sent this piece from Abuja
(Opinion) N1.7trn to import fuel in 2019: What malignant fate has befallen us?
By Frank Tietie