Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves grow by $3.2bn to close at $46bn in March from $42.8bn February

 Nigeria’s external reserves have been on the rise steadily with the rebound of the price of crude in the international market, the return of foreign investors to the equity market and partly by the reduction of rice imports as well as increased local exports.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says Nigeria’s external reserves is steadily growing and currently stands at $46 billion.

CBN Spokesman, Isaac Okoroafor, said in a statement on Sunday that the reserves grew by about $3.2 billion between February and March 2018.

He said that the reserves at the beginning of 2018 stood at $39.3 billion, then rose to $42.8 in February before hitting the new high of $46 billion.

Okoroafor attributed the continued accretion to the country’s reserves to the Bank’s effort at vigorously discouraging unnecessary importation and reducing the nation’s import bill, inflow from oil and non-oil exports.

He also attributed the increase to 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.

According to him, the bank’s interventions in the foreign exchange window had also helped to moderate the pressure on the foreign exchange reserves by sustaining liquidity in the market and boosting production and trade.

Okoroafor also said that the CBN policy restricting access to foreign exchange from Nigeria’s foreign exchange market to importers of some 41 items had made a huge impact on the status of Nigeria’s reserves.

Aside that, he said that the policy had also boosted the supply of local substitutes for imported goods, created jobs at home and enhanced the incomes of farmers and local manufacturers

Amehnews recalls 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 $40 billion mark in 2018. That conservative projection has since been surpassed.

After the reserves surpassed $40bn, Mr. Emefiele last month at a closed gathering of business executives, hinted that reserves could top $55bn by December if current economic trends hold.

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