Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Foreign Reserves to Hit U.S.$50 Billion

The nation's foreign reserve would soon hit an all- time high of U.S.$50 billion, with Excess Crude Account (ECA) to be in excess of $10 billion within the shortest possible time.

Dr. Doyin Okupe, the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, stated this yesterday while briefing newsmen on the performance of the nation's economy in Abuja.

Okupe revealed that the current foreign reserves stood at a little over $39 billion and the significant increase would bolster investors' confidence and therefore strengthen the naira against other world currencies, saying; "What this means is that the policy of the transformation agenda has begun to yield fruits; the excess crude account is less than $10 billion today."

Debunking a report which suggested that power generation in the country was on the decline, the SSA assured that the nation would be generating and distributing 7000 megawatts of electricity by December this year even as he enjoined the people to shun generators as there may not be any need for them by the time the nation reached the targeted output.

Said Okupe: "The major issue confronting power is that NIPP could not come on stream because of gas but that has been rectified. Olorunsogo and Sapele each require 60 million standard cubic metres of gas to fire thermal, but over 420 million metres of gas are available and they have added to the national grid. By December this year, Nigeria will hit an excess of 7000mw and this means an uninterrupted power supply nationwide."

Okupe who claimed that the developments were good index of the outcome of the transformation agenda, also disclosed that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) chaired by Chief Kola Jamodu, in recent reports, indicated that over 240 new industries have opened in the country with over N400 billion investible funds injected into the economy in the last one year. He added that over 240,000 unemployed Nigerians were currently being engaged by the new firms and adding to the nation's productivity.

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