Nigeria’s Reserves Up By 8.58% In 9 Days, Hits $46bn

• I&E FX Window Attracts $33bn Since April 2017

Nigeria’s foreign reserves pool hit a new 54-month high of $46bn at the close of business on Friday, March 9, 2018, which it last touched on September 11, 2013, as it moves to the $50bn threshold.
The new level, which represents an increase by about $3.645bn or 8.58% in the first nine days of March, 2018 was announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in a statement on Sunday night.
The nation’s reserves increased from $42.492bn on February 28, 2018.
Year-to-date, the reserves has grown by $7.23bn or 18.66% from $38.765bn on December 29, 2017.
Confirming the figures, the CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor attributed the continued accretion to the country’s reserves to the CBN’s effort at vigorously discouraging unnecessary importation and reducing the nation’s import bill.
The statement also put inflow from oil and non-oil exports, as well as the huge inflows through the investors and exporters window of the foreign exchange market, which he said had attracted over $33 billion since April 2017, when it was created.
At the close of commodities trading on Friday, March 9, 2018, Brent Crude, sold at $65.49 a barrel up by 2.54%.
According to him, the CBN’s interventions in the foreign exchange window had also helped to moderate the pressure on the FOREX reserves by sustaining liquidity in the market and boosting production and trade.
Okorafor also noted that the CBN policy restricting access to FOREX from Nigeria’s foreign exchange market to importers of some 41 items had made a huge impact on the status of Nigeria’s reserves and boosted the supply of local substitutes for imported goods, created jobs at home and enhanced the incomes of farmers and local manufacturers.
It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) held in Lagos in November 2017, had projected that Nigeria’s external reserves would hit the $40bn mark in 2018. That conservative projection has since been surpassed.