Nigeria’s foreign reserve rises to $35.81bn despite COVID-19 impact


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Despite the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the performance of the external sector, Nigeria’s foreign reserves rose by $140.9m from $35.67bn as of September 1 to $35.81bn as of September 17, the latest figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria have shown.

This is coming even as the country’s exchange rate continues to be affected by volatility in crude oil prices.

The reserves rose by $65m from $35.59bn as of August 20 to $35.66bn as of August 27.

It had earlier lost $278.91m from $35.87bn on July 29 to $35.59bn on August 19 after which it returned to a growth path.

The CBN disclosed in its economic monthly report for May that the performance of the external sector continued to be undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent partial lockdown of economies globally.

“Thus, aggregate foreign exchange inflow, capital importation and external reserves of the Nigerian economy declined by 43.2 per cent, 21 per cent and 0.7 per cent to $5.52bn, $0.25bn and 36.19bn in May 2020, below their respective levels in the preceding month.

“However, the trade sector recorded a surplus of $0.10bn due to the significant contraction in imports.

“The average exchange rate at the inter-bank, the Bureau de Change segment, and the Investors and Exporters window were N361.00/$, N443.33/$ and N386.25/$, respectively, in the review month.”

The CBN said during the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting that the volatile nature of oil prices would continue to have implications for the country’s macroeconomic aggregates.

The MPC stated that these included domestic revenue, foreign exchange earnings, exchange rate development, price formation, capital inflows, external reserves, and balance of payments position.

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According to the MPC, the impact of continued lockdown of major economies and restrictions on travel and trade would continue to be felt by the Nigerian economy through the short supply of essential imports, rise in inflation through high import prices and exchange rate depreciation, and impact of continued uncertainties and volatility of the oil market on macroeconomic stability.

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