- The efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to stabilise the naira at the interbank market depleted the nation’s external reserves by $4.9bn in the first quarter of 2015.
- According to the CBN, the reserves fell by 14.3 per cent, down from $34.24bn at the end of December 2014 to $29.36bn at the end of March 2015.
- The bank, in its latest External Sector Development Report for quarter one 2015, stated that the reserves for March 2015 dropped by $8bn when compared to what it was at the end of March 2014.
- It attributed the decline in the external reserves to its intervention at the interbank market, funding of the retail Dutch Auction system and the bank’s drive to stabilise the local currency.
It said, “The stock of external reserves at end-March 2015 stood at $29.36bn as against $34.24bn and $37.4bn recorded at end-December 2014 and end-March 2014, indicating respective depletion of $4.9bn or 14.3 per cent and $8bn or 21.5 per cent.
“The depletion was mainly due to the funding of the rDAS window and intervention at the interbank market to stabilise the naira exchange rate. The current level of external reserves, which is equivalent to 7.1 months of import commitment, could also finance 6.8 months of foreign exchange disbursements and 5.2 months of imports of goods and services.”