Expert lauds CBN as external reserve hit $40.4 Billion
The Director, Union Capital Market Ltd, Egie Union Capital Market Ltd, Egie Akpata has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) as the external reserves grew to $40billion
Akpata, who described the surge as a positive and welcome development, noted that it that the CBN strategies to improve the FX situation were working.
“Part of the rapid growth in reserves came from a sharp reduction in imports, some of which was driven by CBN policies.”
Akpata explained that, ”The significant rise in oil prices last year also played a very important role in the rate FX was able to accumulate in the reserves.
“It is possible that the biggest factor in this reserves growth was the success of the I&E window which recent reports say has recorded $26billion in transactions since inception.
Recall that the nation’s 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.
He expressed optimism that with the determination of the Bank and the cooperation of the fiscal authorities, the external reserves will continue to enjoy more accretion in the course of 2018.