Thursday, December 31, 2015 11:28 am
Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves declined by 15.61 percent year-on-year to $29.13 billion by Dec. 29, from $34.52 billion a year ago, data from the central bank showed on Thursday.
The forex reserves of also dropped by 2.6 percent in one month from $29.91 billion a month earlier.
The forex reserves fell to their lowest since July 1, 2015 when they stood at $29.07 billion because the central bank has been using the reserves to support the under-pressure Naira currency by speculators, in the wake of falling global oil prices.
The Nigerian government has been under pressure to devalue the currency, but President Buhari said he is yet to be convinced of the benefits to the economy.
President Muhammadu Buhari said that he will not support the devaluation of the naira because it will not be favourable to the Nigerian economy.
Buhari, who expressed the view in presidential media chat in Abuja on Wednesday, said devaluation benefitted developed countries of Europe and America because they were productive economies.
He said Nigeria’s was a consumer economy, which needed to be stimulated into production to create jobs for the population.
“I have to be convinced before accepting the devaluation of the naira. Which country’s currency do we devalue the naira against?
“Devaluation is done between developed countries, in Nigeria; we are still importing ordinary toothpicks.
“We have banned the importation of toothpicks and goods we waste our foreign currency on,’’ he said.
The president said his priorities were not “people wanting to bring rice and luxury goods which do not encourage economic growth”.
On the contrary, he said the country needed to invest in capital projects, especially in power, railways, roads and fight terrorism to create employment for the populace.