Reserves drop to $44.9b on rising oil, food imports

Nigeria’s foreign reserves have declined to $44.9 billion as oil and food imports soar. The reserves, which stood at $45.4 billion on September 30, have maintained steady fall in recent months until the drop on November 14.
With over 50 per cent of foreign exchange utilised for the importation of fuel and food, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said policy should focus on a comprehensive backward integration production strategy, while fast-tracking the repair of the refineries.
By October 10, the reserves were $45.3 billion, as against $46 billion on September 19, and $47 billion on August 19.

Data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) website over the weekend, showed that the reserves were $47.7 billion on July 1, and dropped to $47 billion on July 15. They also entered August 1 at $47 billion. The foreign currency reserves had five years ago, in August 2008, peaked at $68 billion before the global financial crises impacted negatively on it.
Analysis of foreign exchange utilised by sectors revealed that $7.83 billion was expended on the importation of visible goods into the country in the second quarter as against $6.63 billion and $7.74 billion in first quarter and second quarter of last year.
Also, a large part of the reserves was utilized in the importation of oil, industrial, food and manufactured products in the ratio of 30.3, 28, 20.4 and 13.3 per cent of the total respectively.

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