Nigeria spent N958.3 billion importing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, in five months.
The amount could build five 20,000-barrels-per-day mini refineries, industry experts, who argued that one of such refineries would cost government between $75 million and $250 million, said.
In naira terms, higher expenditure on petrol imports gives impression of worsening foreign exchange position for the country and emphasizes the need to activate the country’s four idle refineries, Francis Ogbimi, a Professor of Technology Management at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife said.
The new petrol imports, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), represent more than 120 per cent increase five months earlier and an increase of more than N80 billion within the same period last year.
Nigeria could become self-sufficient in petroleum products by building 10 more refineries, and creating learning infrastructure, as Japan did, to promote rapid competence-building growth and industrialisation
Government has been unable to fix the refineries, forcing the country to rely on importation for about 95 per cent of its fuel consumption needs.
Director of the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law at the University of Ibadan, Adeola Adenikinju asked government to privatise the refineries.
He identified government’s continuous interference in commercial aspects of the downstream sector as major hinderance to the sector.
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