Nigeria’s forex buffer rises 3.75% to $34.78 Bln by May 12 on Abacha loot, IMF loans
Nigeria’s foreign exchange buffer rose 3.75 percent month-t-date to $34.78 billion by May 12, 2020, the latest data posted on the website of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed on Wednesday.
The foreign exchange reserves of Africa’s biggest economy moved from $33.52 billion at the end of last month, bucking the trend of downward movement in the buffer in the wake of the outbreak of Coronavirus and the shape decline in global oil prices.
The increase in Nigeria’s forex buffer narrowed the year-to-date decline to 9.61 percent. The forex reserves were at $38.48 billion on January 4.
“A recovery of sorts is assured now that the IMF has disbursed $3.40 billion under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to tackle the impact of Covid-19.
“Additional concessional financing is likely from other partners, notably the World Bank and African Development Bank groups. Such inflows flow directly into reserves. The cash from the RFI has already been banked,”. analysts at United Capital projected in the week.
Read this also: Finally, Nigeria Receives $312 Mln Abacha Loot From US, New Jersey
Nigeria had announced the receipt of $311.7 million from stolen money recovered for the late head of state Sani Abacha from the United States and New Jersey last week, an amount said to have added up to the nation’s stock of external reserves.
The receipt of over $311.79 million returned from the money looted from the treasury by late Nigeria’s military dictator, Sani Abacha was Attorney general Abubakar Malami.
Though the International Monetary Fund (IMF) $3.4 billion has been released to the country, the fund is yet to reflect in the size of the country’s forex buffer.
However, analysts said Nigeria’s external buffer may be under threat from the backlog of demand from Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) waiting to repatriate a portion of their divestment from the equity and debt market, which has been estimated at close to $.8 billion.