External reserves gain $280m in two weeks

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The country’s external reserves have returned to a growth path with a gain of $280m in two weeks, the latest figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria have shown.

Figures obtained from the CBN on Sunday revealed that the reserves rose to $33.38bn on July 29 from $33.1bn on July 14.

The reserves, which had suffered some declines in recent months, dropped to $33.09bn as of July 12 from $33.28bn on July 1.

It lost $905.5m in June, after it fell to $33.32bn at the end of June 30 from $34.23bn on May 31.

The reserves stood at $34.88bn at the end of April 30, according to the CBN.

During the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said members further noted the contribution of poor infrastructure to rising domestic price levels.

He said they reiterated their call to the Federal Government to prioritise investment in public infrastructure such as improved transportation networks, power supply and telecommunication facilities.

According to him, funding for such projects, the committee noted, could be sourced through public-private-partnerships, as well as the issuance of diaspora bonds.

He said the MPC emphasised the complementary role these bonds would play to boost foreign exchange supply, improving accretion to reserves and easing the exchange rate pressure.

The CBN governor said the committee noted a marginal increase in the external reserves in July.

The MPC stressed the need to diversify the Nigerian economy.

It said in addition to adopting new technologies that supported the agenda of the green economy, Nigeria’s developmental objectives should also focus on encouraging non-oil export promotion to improve the country’s trade balance and increase the accretion to external reserves.

SOURCE: PUNCH

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