Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) show that the foreign reserves grew by $6.7 billion between January and the beginning of March.
Confirming the data on Sunday, Isaac Okorafor, acting director, corporate communications department, said the foreign reserves stood at $39.3 billion at the beginning of the year.
“The reserves at the beginning of 2018 stood at $39.3 billion, then rose to $42.8 in February before hitting the new high of $46 billion,” the statement read.
Okorafor said the continued growth of the reserves was as a result of the bank’s effort to discourage unnecessary importation; inflow from oil and non-oil exports, as well as the huge inflows through the investors and exporters window of the foreign exchange market, which he said had attracted over $33 billion since April 2017, when it was created.
The CBN official said the decision to restrict foreign exchange for some 41 items has made a significant impact on the status of the reserves.
This, he said, has boosted the supply of local substitutes to imported goods and created jobs locally.
“The bank’s interventions in the foreign exchange window had also helped to moderate the pressure on the forex reserves by sustaining liquidity in the market and boosting production and trade,” he said.
Speaking at the annual bankers’ dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) that held in Lagos in November 2017, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, had projected that Nigeria’s external reserves would hit the $40 billion mark in 2018.