Nigeria foreign reserves reach $40.4 bn as CBN Injects $210m into Interbank Market

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    ABUJA, Jan 8 – Nigeria’s foreign reserves reached $40.4 billion as of Jan. 5, an increase of roughly $1 billion from December, the central bank said on Monday.

    Successful debt sales, including multiple Eurobond offerings last year, have helped the government accrue billions of dollars in foreign reserves, although they remain far from the peak of $64 billion in August 2008.

    In its statement on Monday, Nigeria’s central bank also said it had injected $210 million into the interbank foreign exchange market on Monday, extending efforts to increase liquidity and alleviate dollar shortages.

    The bank said the rise reflected its “strategy to effectively manage forex demand by various sectors of the economy”, stressing restrictions on access to foreign currencies for importers of certain items.

    The central bank said its policies “had ensured a decline in Nigeria’s import bills from over $5 billion monthly in 2015 to about $1.5 billion in 2017”.
    Figures obtained from the CBN on Monday, January 8, 2018 indicate that the External Reserves reached the $40.4 Billion mark on Friday, January 5, 2018, indicating an increase of about one billion United States dollars between December 2017 and January 2018.

    Confirming the figure, the Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor attributed the accretion to the country’s reserves to the Bank’s strategy to effectively manage 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 $5 billion monthly in 2015 to about $1.5 billion in 2017.

    Meanwhile, the CBN injected a total of $210 million into interbank window of the foreign exchange market on Monday, for requests in the wholesale, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles segments of the market.

    A breakdown of the figure indicates that the CBN offered $100m to the Wholesale sector while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles windows each received $55 million.

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