For the second time since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in May 2015, the nation’s foreign reserves have hit the 30 billion dollar mark.
Data retrieved from the central bank’s website show that the reserves, which have experienced a steady day-on-day increase of between 2.30 and 2.75% since January 5, 2017, closed the trading week above $30 billion.
The gross amount in the reserves is $30 billion, of which $29.3 billion is liquid and about $703 thousand is blocked.
The last time the reserves crossed the $30 billion mark was in July 2015, and went as high as $31.63 billion in August before it began to decline.
The reserves were affected by low crude oil prices across the world, which put reduced the availability of foreign exchange and in turn, put pressure on the naira.
Back in 2015, CBN was reported to have funded bureau de change operators to support the local currency and bridge the gap between the official and black market rates.
The rising reserves may be attributed to oil prices, which have soared as a result of agreed production cuts between OPEC and non-OPEC members.
Since February 2017, CBN has been providing foreign exchange to banks to meet the tuition, travel and medical needs of customers, thereby reducing the pressure on the naira.
Despite large forex allocation to commercial banks, the reserves have retained its upward trend.
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