Business

Nigeria’s foreign reserves now $40bn, highest level since 2014

Nigeria’s foreign reserves have risen to $40.4 billion, the highest level dating back to October 2014.

The figure represents an increase of about $1 billion between December 2017 and January 2018.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He said the figure confirmed projections by Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made at the annual bankers’ dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) in November 2017.

Okorafor said the increased figure was a result of the bank’s strategy to “manage forex demand by various sectors of the economy”.

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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 depletion of the country’s external reserves due to huge import bills and other debt obligations as was witnessed in the past.

He added that the CBN’s forex restriction policy had ensured that the nation’s import bill reduced from $5 billion monthly to $1.5 billion in 2017.

Okorafor also revealed that that the CBN 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 scale enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles windows each received $55 million.

 

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