Wednesday, 30 May 2018

FG Raises Foreign Reserve To $48bn In 12 months

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the nation’s foreign reserve presently stands at $48 billion, rising by 100 per cent in the last 12 months, just as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate improved to 1.95 per cent in the first quarter of 2018.

The bank’s Deputy Governor, Mr Bayo Adelabu, who spoke at the official commissioning of the CBN Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre in Ibadan, Oyo State, lauded the Godwin Emefiele-led management of the apex bank for the drastic reforms.

He also presented a graphic analysis of how CBN rescued the economy in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic recovery plan to safeguard the sinking exchange rate, inflation and recession.

Adelabu noted that during the recession, inflation which was at single digit in 2012 and 2013, rose to 18.5 per cent - more than doubled. While the dollar exchange rate which was N160 went to N520 to a dollar.

The reserve that was over $40 billion depleted to $24 billion, he said, adding that there was also negative growth of GDP for four consecutive quarters during the period.

He said: “But today, we have seen more than 600 bases drop or decline in inflation rate over an 18 months’ period. In the case of the dollar, we recorded drop of N165 in the exchange rate for the said period of time to stabilize our naira. It has been N360 to a dollar for the past 14 months.

“Our reserve today has doubled from $24bn to $48bn within the period of 12 months. Our GDP reversed and we started recording positive growth, with first quarter of 2018 at 1.95 per cent growth rate. All these are results of hard work and commitment to grow the nation’s economy as promised by Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari,” Adelabu emphasised.

On how the CBN management achieved these feats, the deputy governor said, “We came up with policies, with regulations and ideas and three years down the line, is the story not different?

“Everything reversed. It is not by coincidence or by accident but hard work, commitment, dedication, passion, belief in ourselves and by God’s grace, we were able to achieve all these. Within ourselves, we believed there was nothing like impossibilities in our dictionary,” he stated.

On the CBN Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, Adelabu said the difficulties faced by staff in receiving prompt and quality medical services informed management’s approval for the construction of such centres in Abuja, the South West (Ibadan); South East (Enugu); and North West (Kano) regions of the country.

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