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Nigeria’s external reserves surpass $36b amid rise in oil prices

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NIGERIA’S external reserves are presently estimated at about $36.39 billion as at January 27.

Latest figures from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed that the reserves, which commenced the year at $35.65 billion, rose to $36.52 billion as of January 25, before experiencing a slight swing.

CBN also said that there had been an increase in the level of external reserves, which stood at $36.23 billion as of January 21 compared with $34.94 billion at the end of November 2020.

The figures further stated that this reflected improvements in crude oil prices, partial global economic recovery amid optimism over the discovery and distributions of COVID-19 vaccines by most developed economies.

External reserves as of October 30, 2020 fell by 0.3 per cent and 10.2 per cent to $35.58 billion, compared with $35.67 billion and $39.61 billion at end-September 2020 and end-October 2019, respectively.

The decrease was due, mainly, to CBN’s objective of ensuring predictable macroeconomic environment through interventions in SMIS, BDC and I&E windows to stabilise the naira exchange rate.

The external reserves position in October could cover 7.9 months of import of goods and services and 10.6 months of import of goods only, according to the CBN.

It stated that Nigeria’s reserves per capita was $172.60 compared with $174.44 in September 2020.

A breakdown of the external reserves by ownership showed that, the CBN had the largest share of $30.41 billion (85.5 per cent) followed by the Federal Government with $5.10 billion (14.3 per cent).

It will be recalled that the reserves had nosedives in recent months due to low oil earnings.

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