As the price of crude oil at the international market continued to move closer to $70 per barrel, Nigeria’s external reserves have continued to accrue rising by more than 19 per cent in three months period.
Latest data by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed that the 30 days moving average of the reserves increased by 19.6 per cent form January up to April 4, 2018. The 30 days moving average figure currently stands at $46.554 billion up from $38.912 billion which it was at the beginning of the year.
Oil price at the international market has increased slightly beyond $69 per barrel by the close of business last week.
The reserves had grown by about $7.6 billion between January and March 2018. The reserves at the beginning of 2018 stood around $38 billion, then rose to $42.8 in February before hitting the new high of $46 billion.
Acting director, corporate communications department, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, had last month announced that the reserves had crossed the $46 billion mark attributing the continued accretion to the country’s reserves to the apex bank’s effort at vigorously discouraging unnecessary importation and reducing the nation’s import Bill; inflow 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.
According to him, the bank’s interventions in the foreign exchange window had also helped to moderate the pressure on the forex reserves by sustaining liquidity in the market and boosting production and trade. Okorafor also noted that the CBN policy restricting access to forex from Nigeria’s foreign exchange market to importers of some 41 items had made a huge impact on the status of Nigeria’s reserves and boosted the supply of local substitutes for imported goods, created jobs at home and enhanced the incomes of farmers and local manufacturers.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) held in Lagos in November 2017, had projected that Nigeria’s external reserves would hit the $40 billion mark in 2018. That conservative projection has since been surpassed.
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