Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that the country’s external reserves stand at $30.51 billion.
In the data released on its website and analysed by Business Post, the apex bank said the present figure represents the amount in the reserves as at Wednesday, July 19, 2017. This indicates an upward movement in the foreign reserves, from $30.49 billion it closed on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Nigeria relies mainly on crude oil to earn foreign exchange and price of the commodity has not been stable lately, trading below $50 per barrel at the international market.
The West Africa’s biggest economy was able to shore up its reserves following strategic steps taken by the government to calm nerves in the restive oil-rich Niger Delta region of the country. Lately, the CBN has relied on the external reserves to intervene in the forex market by making Dollar available to boost liquidity.
This has kept the Naira around N360 to N380 to the Dollar in recent times from about N500 per Dollar in February this year, when the intervention began. Since the beginning of this present administration, efforts have been made to diversify the economy so as to earn forex from different sources instead of from oil alone. Agriculture has remained the focal point and last month, the Federal Government exported some containers of yam to Europe and the United States. The Nigerian government, as part of efforts to ease the pressure on Naira, has advised citizens to consume locally made products.