Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange Reserves rose from $34.94billion in November 2020 to $36.23billion as at Jan 21, 2021.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele who made the disclosure at the January Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the bank, noted that improvement in crude oil prices contributed to the increase.

“The MPC noted the increase in the level of external reserves, which stood at 36.23 billion dollars as at 21st January 2021 compared with 34.94 billion dollars at the end of November 2020,” he said.

“This reflected improvements in crude oil prices, partial global economic recovery amid optimism over the discovery and distributions of COVID-19 vaccines by most developed economies,’’ he said.

The CBN governor, according Vanguard, added that the Nigerian economy and the global economy had continued to show prospect for recovery from the effects of COVID-19.

He assured of improved economic growth in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2021.

“The medium-term outlook for both the domestic and global economies continued to show improved prospects of recovery.

“This is supported by the recent moderate uptick in crude prices and increased optimism over the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Available data and forecasts for key macroeconomic variables for the Nigerian economy suggest further improvement in output growth in the first quarter of 2021.

“This would be supported by the coordinated and sustained interventions of the monetary and fiscal authorities, including the broad-based stimulus and liquidity injections,’’ he assured.

The CBN governor urged the Federal Government to take more urgent steps to tackle the challenge of insecurity so as to curb inflation, adding that insecurity also posed a threat to food security.

“MPC members reiterated the adverse impact of insecurity on food production, stressing that the current uptick in inflationary pressure could not be solely associated with monetary factors.

“They are due mainly to legacy structural factors including major supply bottlenecks across the country.

“The Committee thus called on the government to redouble efforts at strengthening infrastructural efficiency and address the emerging security challenges in the country.

“In addition to this, the committee called on the government to explore the option of effective partnership with the private sector to improve funding sources necessary to address the huge infrastructural financing deficit,’’ he said.