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External reserves drop by $1.6bn



Data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday showed that Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves fell by 4.9 per cent to $29.79bn on March 30, from $31.35bn in February,.

Year-on-year, the reserves fell by 21.3 per cent from $37.83bn in March 2014 to stand at the new balance of $29.79bn on Monday, the data showed.

The external reserves have continued to drop at a faster pace due to low demand for the nation’s crude oil and its falling prices globally.

The CBN has been using the reserves to support the ailing naira, which has been hammered by the falling global oil prices and uncertainty over the just concluded presidential elections.

Economic and financial analysts linked the huge drop in the stock of external reserves to political spending, falling oil prices, which have put pressure on the local currency, and speculative demand for the dollar by foreign exchange dealers.

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