The nation’s external reserves have hit a new level of $40.4bn, the Central Bank of Nigeria has stated.
The last time the foreign reserves hit the $40bn mark was January 2014, about five months before the crash in global oil prices. The foreign exchange reserves had reached a low of $23.6bn in October 2016.
In September 2008, the country’s foreign exchange reserves hit $62bn, with the Federal Government spending $12bn from it to settle external debts.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Lagos last November, projected that the foreign exchange reserves would hit the $40bn mark before the end of 2018.
In a statement on Monday, the apex bank stated that the external reserves reached $40.4bn on Friday, January 5, 2018.
This, it said, indicated an increase of about $1bn between December 2017 and January 2018.
The foreign exchange reserves, which stood at $38.765bn on December 29, 2017, rose to $39.074bn on January 4, data on the CBN website showed.
The reserves had risen by 50 per cent in the last one year to hit $38.73bn on December 28, 2017.
The foreign reserves gained $12.9bn between December 2016 and December 2017, according to the data.
Between January and October 2017, the reserves rose by $8bn, indicating a 30.9 per cent increase when it recorded $33.83bn on October 31.
Relative stability in the Niger Delta, uptick in the global oil prices, improvement in Diaspora remittances and establishment of the Investors and Exporters Foreign Exchange Window by the CBN in April 2017 have led to significant growth in the country’s external reserves, especially in the second half of last year.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, while confirming the latest development, attributed the accretion to the reserves to the central bank’s strategy of effectively managing forex demand by various sectors of the economy.