Nigeria Loses $900m in Reserves




Nigeria’s external reserves dropped by about $900 million this week.The reserves, which opened the week at about $38 billion fell to $37.17 billion yesterday. The reserves, which ended 2009 at $42.40 billion had peaked at $64 billion in August 2008 during the oil boom when the price of crude oil reached N147 per barrel. Revenue shortfalls as well as funding for foreign exchange and imports are some of the reasons for the depletion of the country’s external reserve position. However, currently, the reserve can still fund about 17 months of import.



The CBN said recently it was considering ways of beefing up and preserving the reserves. The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said in an interview in Paris : “CBN was also considering diversifying its forex reserves with a small shift into Asian currencies, in particular the Chinese Yuan.”The monetary authority holds 15 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign currency reserves in Euros and almost 80 per cent in dollars. But the Euro has depreciated against the dollar as concerns mount that Greece’s debt crisis might spread to other nations in the euro-zone.



The Director of Reserves Management Department of the CBN, Lamido Yuguda had also said ahead of the African Development Bank’s annual general meeting in Abidjan that the CBN might reduce the amount of euros it holds in its reserves if the European currency’s decline continues. 





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