Leadership (Abuja)

27 August 2012

Nigeria's External Reserves Hit U.S.$37.8 Billion

Nigeria's external reserves pool rose sharply last week compared to its gradual increase since last month, by $715.91 million in seven days to $37.876 billion as at August 23, 2012.

The latest figure as updated on the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) website represents a four month high as the reserves had hit its highest in years.

The country's reserves having reached N37.768 billion in early June, was depleted by N1.166 billion or 3.08 per cent within a month in June/July 2012, but recorded a 1.9 per cent increase within three days last week.

The reserves, which begun in 2012 with a year low of N32.985 trillion as at January 3, 2012, had steadily climbed to N37.768 trillion which was recorded as at June 6, 2012.

The minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had last month in a meeting with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) emphasized the need for the country to buffer up its reserve.

Okonjo-Iweala, who insisted that there was the need to build up the reserves to $50 billion before the end of the year (2012), said the development would serve as cushion for the Nigerian economy in case of any global economic recess.

She said: "There is a lot of global uncertainty, and in that respect, we still need to make sure that we build sufficient buffers to protect us.

"If anything should happen, we don't have enough in our excess crude account or the reserves to save us. So we need to turn this around and build buffers sufficient to take care of the country for three months."

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