Nigeria’s foreign reserves hit $34.49bn

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday pegged the nation’s foreign exchange reserves at $34.49 billion (N5.74 trillion) as at Jan. 5.

The figure posted on the bank’s website, shows that the figure represents an increase of $20 million (N3.36 billion) from the $34.47 billion (N5.79 trillion) recorded on Dec. 31, 2014.

The bank said that the $34.49 billion (N5.74 trillion) represented the ‘gross’ amount while $33.52 billion (N5.63 trillion) was ‘liquid’ and $975 million (N163.8 billion) ‘blocked’.

The Federal Government had through fiscal policies made attempts since 2013 to shore up the foreign reserves to $50 billion (N9.05 trillion).

The CBN had in 2014 relied heavily on external reserves to support the Naira which came under pressure following falling international prices of crude oil.

Crude oil prices at the international market have continued to rally between $55 and $60 per barrel since December, 2014.

According to the CBN, the continuous pressure on the foreign exchange market was also attributable to the rise in the internal demand for the dollar.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had earlier said that the country had spent huge assets from the foreign reserves in ensuring that the official exchange rate was maintained at its previous value of N155 to a dollar.

However, in spite of the government’s efforts to shore up the Naira, the CBN devalued the Naira to N168 to a dollar in November, 2014.

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