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FG Spends N42trn On Importation In 5 Years

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that Nigeria spent a total of $119.409 billion (N42 trillion) on the importation of commodities into the country during a five-year period.

Of this amount,  $36.371 billion was spent on the importation of petroleum products.

CBN director in charge of research, Mr. Ganiyu Amao, made this known during his presentation before the House of Representatives adhoc Committee on Refineries Turn Around Maintenance (TAM).

This, according to Amao, is responsible for the depreciation in the value off naira following  undue pressure on the nation’s external reserve.

Amao, who led the CBN team to the committee’s hearing, explained that the apex bank’s ability to intervene in the foreign exchange market with a view to stabilising the naira is usually curtailed by excessive outflow of foreign exchange.

“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 said.

The CBN disclosed that domestic consumption rose from 4.5 million metric tonnes to 23.9 million metric tonnes in 2013, and dropped to 2.6m metric tonnes in 2016.

According to Amao, the CBN favoured a policy that compelled International Oil companies (IOCs) to refine at least half of the crude they produce for domestic consumption.

Meanwhile,  the committee has issued a  27-hour ultimatum to the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 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 committee,  Datti Garba Muhammad, had complained that stakeholders were frustrating the investigation as majority of them refused to avail the committee with the required information.

“Only a few organisations and individuals have complied with the committee’s request for documents and memoranda as many are bent on frustrating the investigation to this regard.

“The committee derives its authority to conduct this probe from the resolution referred to it in line with the provisions of the constitution, and this committee will not hesitate to invoke relevant provisions of our laws with a view to obtaining compliance from parties required to make inputs and provide information,” he said.



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