Latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics has revealed that the amount spent on importation of petroleum products in the third quarter of the year rose to N700.46bn. This increase is unprecedented in recent times as the amount is three times the N221.47bn spent on fuel imports in the previous quarter. The amount is however lower than the N1.25tn incurred in the first quarter.
Fuel consumption and petroleum imports plunged deeply in the Q2 amid the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. According to data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the volume of petroleum products imported through the Direct Sale Direct Purchase scheme fell from 2.25 billion litres in March to 1.81 billion litres in April, and 495.10 million litres in May.
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Under the new Direct Purchase of Petroleum Product (DSDP) scheme, selected overseas refiners, trading companies and indigenous companies are allocated crude supplies in exchange for the delivery of an equal value of petrol and other refined products to be delivered to NNPC. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been the major importer of petroleum products into the country in recent years.