By Omodele Adigun
Buoyed by the rising oil price at the world market, the country’s external reserves has jumped to $38.73 billion.
As of Thursday December 28, the oil price stood at $64.46 per barrel, to raise the reserves to the new height, according to information obtained from the CBN website.
This has revived the hope that the reserves will shoot above the $40 billion earlier predicted by the CBN boss, Godwin Emefiele.
In November, Emefieled has announced the jump in the reserves from $23billion recorded in October 2016 to $38.2 billion, just as he called on the private sector to support the Federal Government in job creation and poverty alleviation.
According to Emefiele, who disclosed this while commissioning the 10 million Euros CBN-assisted Blue Band margarine factory in Agbara, Ogun State, the uptick in the reserves followed the aggressive foreign exchange management policies of the apex bank, which saw the reserves rise from where it used to be two years ago to $38.2 billion, while its intervention in the forex market has resulted in the inflows of over $10billion in the last seven months via the Investors and Exporters (I &E) window.
“And confidence has returned to the market at this time. In seven months we have seen over $10 billion inflows into the country between April and now.I am saying inflows that have come in not as foreign portfolio investments, but foreign direct investments.
The apex bank said the external reserves rose to $33 billion on September 14, riding on the back of increased oil earnings. Its Governor, Emefiele, who spoke through his acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said this was a further indication that the economic recovery that started in the second quarter would be consolidated, assuring all and sundry that the bank would work hard to keep growing the reserves and strengthening the economy.
It was in making large amounts of foreign exchange (forex) available to the market that had caused appreciation of the Naira by over N85 in less than one week early last year.