Nigeria’s external reserves hit 5-year high of $46bn, inch towards $50bn

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has stated that the country’s external reserves has been growing steadily and currently stands at $46bn, representing an increase of 18 per cent or $7 billion over the country’s reserves figure of $38.912 billion as of January 2, 2018.

It has also significantly surpassed the $40 billion target for 2018 announced by the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, last November, and is expected to inch up to $50 billion in the next few months.

The apex bank explained that the accretion of the country’s reserves was a result of the central bank’s continuous effort at vigorously discouraging unnecessary imports and reducing the nation’s import bill, inflows from oil and non-oil exports, as well as the huge inflows through the investors’ and exporters’ window of the foreign exchange market, which, he said, had attracted over $33 billion since April 2017, when it was created.

The central bank’s spokesman, Isaac Okoroafor, disclosed in a statement issued on Sunday that the reserves grew by about $3.2 billion between February and March 2018, adding that CBN’s interventions in the forex window also helped to moderate the pressure on the forex reserves by sustaining liquidity in the market and boosting production and trade.

He stated that the reserves at the beginning of 2018 stood at $39.3 billion, then rose to $42.8 billion in February before hitting the new high of 46 billion dollars.

Okoroafor attributed the continued accretion to the country’s reserves to the Bank’s effort at vigorously discouraging unnecessary importation and reducing the nation’s import bill, inflow from oil and non-oil exports.

He also attributed the increase to the huge inflows through the investors and exporters window of the foreign exchange market, which he said had attracted over 33 billion dollars since April 2017, when it was created.

The statement reads, “the Bank’s interventions in the foreign exchange window have also helped to moderate the pressure on the foreign exchange reserves by sustaining liquidity in the market and boosting production and trade.

“The CBN policy restricting access to foreign exchange from Nigeria’s foreign exchange market to importers of some 41 items had made a huge impact on the status of Nigeria’s reserves.”

Aside that, he disclosed that the policy had also boosted the supply of local substitutes for imported goods, created jobs at home and enhanced the incomes of farmers and local manufacturers.

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