Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves has risen for the first time in five months and the second time since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office.
According to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the reserves experienced a rise of $13 million.
The reserves, which rose by $350 million in August 2015, was on the upside again on Monday, surging from $27.793 billion on Friday to $27.806 billion on Monday, February 22.
The foreign exchange policy being adopted by the Central Bank has come under intense criticism for depleting the nation’s lean reserves.
Experts have called for the devaluation of the naira in order to conserve reserves, boost industry and meet dollar demands, but the CBN and Buhari have insisted time and again that devaluation is not an option, with the president referring to it as “killing the naira”.
Christine Lagarde, who is running her second term as the managing director of the international monetary fund (IMF), has said that the forex restrictions by the CBN is “not a good idea”.
She said earlier in the year that Nigeria needs “an exchange rate policy that is sensible, in the sense that it is not going to waste reserves, we have in particular indicated that a persistent pegging of the naira would not be such a good idea”.
Muhammad Sanusi II, the emir of Kano and former governor of the CBN, has also called for a flexible foreign exchange policy, saying the naira has been devalued already.
At about the same time in February 2015, the foreign reserves stood at $31.779 billion – $4bn more than it is on Tuesday.