Nigeria’s foreign reserves have dropped by $673.13m from $36.57bn on June 1 to $35.89bn on July 28. This was confirmed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) based on the latest data released by the bank yesterday. The country’s apex bank, in its first-quarter economic report, entitled ‘Gross official external reserves,’ declared that the gross external reserves fell in the first quarter of 2020.
The CBN further noted that the nation’s gross external reserves were $33.69bn as at the end of March 2020, a development which signals a dramatic reduction by 11.6 per cent, when juxtaposed with last year’s fourth quarter standing.
A clinical breakdown of the external reserves by ownership ratio indicate that the share of Country’s reserves was $0.32bn (0.9 per cent); Federal Government reserves, $5.85bn (17.4 per cent); and the CBN reserves, $27.52bn (81.7 per cent) of the total figure.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had recently underscored the need for the federal government to as a matter of urgent priority minimize its dependence on oil revenue through aggressive and radical diversification of the economy. Mr Emefiele who made the declaration at the last CBN Monetary Policy Committee meeting had said:
“Central to the committee’s considerations were the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the oil price shock and the likely short- to medium-term consequences on the Nigerian economy.”
The apex Bank governor had further stressed that while the committee is not unaware of the strategic progress in macroeconomic dynamics, including on-going gains in the equities sector, the deployment of crisis management strategies in managing the COVID-19- crisis and its drastic consequence on crude oil prices would impact on the nation’s external reserves going forward