The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend intervened in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) of the interbank foreign exchange market to the tune of $304.4 million.

Figures obtained from the Bank indicated that the sum, as in previous interventions, were in favour of interests in the agricultural, airlines, petroleum products and raw materials and machinery sectors.

The Bank’s acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the figures, reiterating that the objective of the CBN remained to boost liquidity, production and trade.

He explained that the CBN would continue to ensure liquidity in the interbank sector of the market as well as sustain its interventions in order to drive economic growth and guarantee market stability.

Speaking further, Okorafor expressed optimism that the Nigerian economy stood to gain massively from the Bank’s forex management strategy as could be seen in the accretion to the foreign reserves, which now stands at over $40 billion.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, last week announced the retention of the benchmark monetary policy rate (MPR) at 14 per cent, the cash reserve requirement at 22.5 per cent, liquidity ratio will remain at 30 per cent, while the asymmetric corridor will be retained at +200 and -500 basis point around the MPR, as decided at the November meeting of the MPC. This was due to the inability of the committee to form a quorum.

He stressed that the central bank would remain proactive and vigilant in ensuring that macroeconomic stability was maintained.

Emefiele pointed out that despite the postponement of the MPC, key economic indicators have continued to move in the right direction.

He noted that with the modest recovery in oil prices and boost in domestic production, the country exited recession in 2017, while inflation has continued its decline, down to 15.37 per cent as of December 2017.

Emefiele added: “Our foreign exchange reserves have grown from about $23 billion in October 2016 to $40.78 billion at the close of business on January 18, 2018.”