The Nigerian economy has shown positive signs of recovery following an increase in foreign reserves just as the economy leaves recession.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Thursday, said Nigeria’s external reserves rose to $33 billion as at September 14, 2017, riding on the back of increased oil earnings.
Governor of the bank, Godwin Emefiele, who spoke through the Acting Director, Corporate Communications of CBN, Isaac Okorafor, at the ongoing 24th seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in Awka, Anambra State, said this was a further indication that the economic recovery that started in the second quarter of the year would be consolidated.
He assured that the bank’s management would work hard to keep growing the reserves and strengthening the economy. The assurance comes as the apex bank earlier this week said also it will continue to explore possible avenues to ensure that interest rates were supportive of domestic production needs and work specifically to tame inflation and engineer a better economy for Nigerians.
Recall that Nigeria’s reserves climbed to $31.22 billion in August, making it the first time in two years. Meanwhile, CBN said on Wednesday it was not considering a review of 41 items affected by the policy on restriction of access to foreign exchange through the official window for imports.
The CBN Governor, Emefiele, stated this in his keynote address to the opening session of the 24th annual seminar for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents in Awka, Anambra State.
The governor who spoke through the director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, at the seminar with the theme, “Import Substitution and the Dynamics of Interest and Exchange Rates Management in Nigeria”, said “the CBN is not thinking about reviewing the policy or removing any of the 41 items on the list. We had the choice of allowing the naira to have crashed to over N1000 to the dollar. But we chose to prioritise our area of need in our economy as a nation,” Emefiele said.
He said when the forex restriction policy was introduced in 2015, the country was facing the most difficult time in its economic history, following the collapse of the commodity prices, unprecedented foreign exchange crunch, depleting foreign reserve and highly devalued naira.
To manage the excessive demand for foreign exchange, Emefiele said it became imperative to adopt a policy that prioritised the supply of dollars to critical sectors of the economy to provide inputs to keep production going.