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External reserves lose $178m in seven days

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) foreign reserves has depreciated by $178 million in seven days to $28.8 billion on last week Friday, January 8.
Information gathered from CBN latest data revealed that the nation’s foreign reserves opened the year at $29.06 billion after recording a 12-year low
In just one day (January 6 – January 7), the reserves lost $20million, dropping from $28.95 billion to $28.93 billion.
On this note, CBN on Monday stopped the sale of foreign exchange to all Bureau De Change Operators across the country.
The ban was announced by the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, during a media briefing held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.
Emefiele said the 2,786 licensed BDC operators in the country would henceforth have to get foreign exchange from autonomous sources.
He said following the ban on sale of forex to BDCs, the apex bank had decided to remove the restriction placed on cash deposits of foreign exchange in banks.
The CBN governor said that between July 2014 and January this year, the country’ reserves had suffered great pressure from speculative attacks, round tripping and front loading activities by actors in the foreign exchange market.
This, he noted, had led to a decline in the reserves from $37.3bllion in June 2014 to N28billion currently.
Emefiele lamented that owing to the speculative attack on the nation’s currency, the central bank’s monthly foreign earnings had fallen from as high as $3.2billion to as low as $1billion monthly.

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