Latest data by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday, shows that as of Friday, July 18, 2014, the nation’s foreign reserves increased by $1.009 billion in 18 days, at $38.49 billion compared to the level at the end of June.
This represents an increase of 2.69 per cent, when reserves level stood at $37.48 billion on June 30, 2014.
Compared to the level it was when Godwin Emefiele, resumed office as new CBN Governor on June 3, 2014, the nation’s reserves have appreciated by $1.732 billion or 4.71 per cent in less than two months.
On a year-to-date basis however, Nigeria’s foreign reserves is still down by $8.4433 billion or 17.99 per cent from $46.933 billion, which new its all-time high of about $48.857 billion on May 2, 2013.
Emefiele promised at a world press conference, two days after resuming office on June 3, 2014, to partner relevant stakeholders to aggressively shore up Nigeria’s reserves and improving policy buffers, which will further create space to implement monetary policy using available instruments.
He said exchange rate stability would remain a key goal of the CBN, and that in view of the high import-dependent nature of the economy and significant exchange rate pass-through, a systematic depreciation of the Naira would spur inflationary pressure leading to macroeconomic stability.
One of such efforts to enhance the nation reserves pool, was the bid to check abuses in the bureax de change segment of the nation’s financial system, following which a new minimum capital base was set for N35 million, from the previous N10 million, in addition to other pronouncements. Following complaints among operators, the deadline for recapitalization was shifted from June 16 to 31, 2014.
Appearing before the House of Representatives last week, Emefiele said over 200 Bureau de Change companies have met the new guidelines.
He expressed the bank’s commitment to stemming the depletion of the country’s foreign reserves from unproductive transactions.
According to the guideline released in June, several BDCs are owned by the same promoters “in order to buy foreign exchange multiple times from the CBN Window, which is clearly related to the low level of capital requirements for licensing BDCs.