Nigeria’s foreign reserves hit $40 billion

Highest since October 2014

Chiamaka Enendu | Tuesday, 09 January 2018 1:35pm | economy

Isaac Okorafor | source: @IsaacOkorafor

Nigeria’s external reserves has recorded an increase of about $1 billion between December 2017 and January 2018, currently standing at $40.4 billion, recorded as being its highest level since October 2014.

Reacting to the increase in a statement by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Isaac Okorafor, spokesman of CBN, said the rise is a result of the bank’s strategy to manage forex demand by various sectors of the economy.

It added that this had been projected by the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) in Lagos last November even as the Bank injected a total of $210 million into the interbank Foreign Exchange Market in the first round of trading for the year on Monday, January 8, 2018.

“Citing the CBN policy restricting access to forex from the Nigerian forex market by importers of some 41 items as the major turning point, Okorafor said the policy had helped to stop the haemorrhaging of the country’s external reserves, which hitherto witnessed heavy depletion due to huge import bills and other debt obligations,” he said.

Okorafor further expressed optimism that with the determination of the Bank and the cooperation of the fiscal authorities, the external reserves will continue to enjoy more accretion in the course of 2018. He added that the CBN also injected $210 million into the interbank foreign exchange market.

A breakdown of the figure showed that the CBN offered $100m to the wholesale sector while the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles windows each received $55 million.