Nigeria’s Reserves Decline by $520m in 5 Weeks

A review of Central Bank of Nigeria data shows Nigeria’s external reserves decreased by $520.22 million in five weeks.

Figures indicate reserves stood at $33.396 billion on October 31st but fell to $33.004 billion by December 7th.

Recall they had started 2023 at $37.07 billion before dropping to $33.237 billion as of September 29th, according to CBN.

Speaking at a bankers event, CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso linked declining oil output and inadequate diversification to reserve deficits.

He noted high inflation had also impacted banks while constant naira devaluation posed foreign exchange risks.

Cardoso hoped fuel subsidy removal and a floating exchange rate would boost investment, inflows and stocks in the medium term.

Ex-CBN governor Lamido Sanusi previously argued the Nigerian National Petroleum Company lacked transparency on crude earnings exacerbating foreign reserves challenges.

As inflows continue lagging, the reserve drawdowns point to Nigeria’s vulnerability from external shocks like currently seen.

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