Nigeria: Money market worried over declining external reserve

Sanusi Lamido

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Nigeria’s declining external reserves topped major issues in the money market this week.

The external reserves have continuously declined in the last one month and stood at 44.81billion on 20 November.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reported on its Website that the external reserves depreciated by 2.37 per cent during the period from 45.22 billion dollars in October.

Some experts said that the steady decline in the external reserves might be in the bid by the CBN to stabilise the naira exchange rate.

The CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has however, stressed the need to beef up the external reserves to safeguard the country’s financial market.

Sanusi gave the advice at a news briefing after the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

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He said the country’s financial market was “extremely fragile’’ and susceptible to external shocks due to the low external reserves.

During the week, some stakeholders called for more support for the ongoing efforts at amending the old Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act 44 of 1977.

Mallam Suleiman Barau, the CBN Deputy Governor, CBN, Corporate Services, said that the apex bank’s efforts were targeted at amending the old Act to help to restore confidence in the banking system.

Barau said that a revised legislation would address all the shortcomings that had been identified with the enforcement of the old Act.

During the week, the CBN sold a total of 594.93 million dollars worth of foreign exchange at its bi-weekly Retail Dutch Auction System at the rate of N155.70 to the dollar.

The local currency remained stable at the official and parallel market closing between N155.80 and N167 per dollar, respectively.