Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account, which contains surplus cash from extra crude sales above budget benchmark, plunged from $324.54 million to $72.41 million in the roughly 8-month period between 20th November 2019 and 7th July this year, translating to a 78 per cent fall.
Zainab Ahmed, the Finance Minister gave the latest figure Thursday at the National Economic Council meeting, which held at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Africa’s biggest oil exporter, 90 per cent of whose exports are provided by crude, has been relying on its nest egg to shore up an economy buckling under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic amidst sluggish inflow of petrodollar occasioned by an oil crash.
It has also supplied foreign currency in measured portions to its foreign exchange markets following a dollar crunch that has suffocated liquidity.
Growth has slowed since it crept out of recession in 2017 and the World Bank foresees Gross Domestic Product contracting 3.2-7.4% this year, depending on the enormity of the pandemic outbreak.
Nigeria’s prayer for a $3 billion credit lifeline from the World Bank is hoped to be answered in the months ahead to enable government cover almost half of its external financing inadequacy.
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