With a 3.3 per cent rise within a month, Nigeria's foreign external reserve is close to meeting the target of the ministry of finance as it hit $43.375 billion as at November 15, 2012 according to figures made available on the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Reserves which stood at $41.989 billion on October 15, 2012, recorded a month on month increase of 3.3 per cent and a year to date increase of 31.78 per cent. As at the beginning of the year, the external reserves was $32.915 billion.
The Coordinating Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had set a target of $50 billion in foreign external reserves by the end of the year. This according to her is to ensure that the country can withstand any global economic downturn that may occur.
The CBN governor at the weekend had reiterated the need to strengthen the nation's reserves saying "It is important to start building and continue building the fiscal buffers, go into a period of strong restraints and serious fiscal restraints and consolidation.
"We must continue to build up the external reserves and protect the economy from external shocks to oil prices and focus on the strength and resilience of the banking system", he stated.
Standard Chartered Head of Africa research Razia Khan, had noted that "given global risks the priority for Nigeria has got to be increasing its rate of saving. Were oil prices to fall, Nigeria would be left very vulnerable. There is a need for much more fiscal conservatism and the signals from the house are a considerable concern."
Some analysts however believe that the government needs to grow the economy, providing basic infrastructure that would position the country among the top countries in the world.