By Michael Eboh, with agency report
ABUJA— Nigeria’s woes in the area of dwindling revenue from crude oil sales is expected to heighten in the next couple of days, as the South African Petroleum Industry Association, SAPIA, yesterday, stated that South Africa would likely stop importing crude oil from Nigeria following the lifting of the sanctions on Iran.
Executive Director of the SAPIA, Avhapfani Tshifularo, told journalists that the potential return of Iranian oil exports to South Africa threaten to displace barrels from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria that plugged the supply gap when sanctions were imposed on Iran, which is OPEC’s fifth biggest producer.
He said: “The re-emergence of Iranian crude oil provides options for those willing to buy from Iran. Iranian imports are likely to displace the Nigerian and Saudi Arabian crudes, since they seem to have filled the gap since South Africa stopped importing Iranian crude oil.”
Furthermore, data compiled by SAPIA from refiners showed that South Africa stopped importing crude oil from Iran in 2013, following which its oil imports from Nigeria rose significantly, with Saudi Arabia emerging the highest exporter of crude to the country.
Recent data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, had showed that a sharp decline was recorded in revenue accruable to the Federal Government from the petroleum sector, as the country’s earnings from crude oil export dropped to N5.271 trillion for the nine month period, January to September 2015.
The NBS, in its Foreign Trade Statistics for the Third Quarter of 2015, had noted that the value of Nigeria’s crude oil export for the nine month period 2015, represented a decline of 45.39 per cent or N4.381 trillion when compared to crude oil export of N9.652 trillion recorded in the same period in 2014.
It also represented a decline of 55.67 per cent or N6.62 trillion when compared to total crude oil earnings of N11.891 trillion recorded in 2014.
Giving a breakdown of Nigeria’s crude oil earnings in nine-month 2015, the NBS data revealed that the country earned N1.675 trillion from crude oil export in the first quarter of 2015, N1.984 trillion and N1.611 trillion in the second and third quarters respectively.
This was in contrast to crude oil export earnings of N3.234 trillion, N3.269 trillion and N3.149 trillion for the first, second and third quarters respectively, while in the fourth quarter of 2014, the country earned N2.239 trillion from the export of the commodity in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Further breakdown of the 2015 figures showed that the country earned N505.898 billion, N591.964 billion, N577.361 billion, N698.387 billion and N668.526 billion in January, February, March, April and May respectively.
In the months of June, July, August and September, Nigeria’s crude oil export stood at N617.364 billion, N572.813 billion, N512.823 billion and N525.857 billion respectively.