Foreign currency reserves in Nigeria hit a one-year low of $37.8bn in the middle of October.
The reserves recorded monthly drop bringing the total level down to $37.8bn, the worst recorded since October 2021.
The last time the foreign currency reserves fell this low was on October 4, 2021 when it was $37.5bn.
Between January 4 to October 14 this year, the reserves have shed $2.63bn from $40.5bn which it was during the opening of the year’s market.
The development is against the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele’s claim that the RT200 forex programme would turn the fortune of the reserves and help the ailing currency.
In February 2022, Emefiele introduced another policy which targeted $200bn in non-oil export proceeds over the next five years.
Since the policy was launched, it has generated $1.6bn as of early September, according to the CBN governor.
The naira is trading around N740 per dollar at the black market and N336.85 at the official rate adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The management of the country’s foreign exchange crisis has been compounded by the dwindling oil revenues resulting from crude oil theft.
In the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, Emefiele had stated that “With crude oil price forecast to continue to moderate in the short to medium term, the bank (will) not relent on the various policies put in place to support non-oil exports to shore up external reserves.”
Around 700,000 barrels of oil is lost daily through the activities of oil thieves and vandals, according to the Nigerian National Oil Company Ltd.
“Persistent importation of petroleum products had continued to put pressure on foreign reserves and weaking the capacity of the CBN to support the forex market.
“Petroleum refineries have remained non-performing over the years,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises, Muda Yusuf.
“There is a need for urgent steps to be taken to ensure a better macroeconomic management framework to stabilise the exchange rate, eradicate the challenge of illiquidity in the foreign exchange market and to stem the current depreciation of the Naira,” he added.