Nigeria’s External Reserves Hit $40.4bn, As CBN Injects $210m Into Interbank Market

As 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, the apex bank announced that the nation’s external reserves touched a new high of $40.4bn.
The bank also announced the injection of a total of $210m into the interbank Foreign Exchange Market in the first round of trading for the year on Monday, January 8, 2018.
Figures obtained from the CBN on Monday, January 8, 2018 indicate that the External Reserves reached the new high on Friday, January 5, 2018, indicating an increase of about US$1bn between December 2017 and January 2018.
A statement by Isaac Okorafor, Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications at the CBN, attributed the accretion to the country’s reserves to its strategy of effectively managing forex demand by various sectors of the economy.
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 hemorrhaging of the country’s external reserves, which hitherto witnessed heavy depletion due to huge import bills and other debt obligations. According to him, the CBN policy had ensured a decline in Nigeria’s import bills from over $5bn monthly in 2015 to about $1.5 billion in 2017.
He 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.
Nigeria’s external reserves soared by $12.922bn or 50% to $38.765bn on December 29, 2017, from $25.843bn on December 30, 2016, according to data available on the website of the CBN.