Despite stringent measures to conserve foreign exchange, the Nigerian foreign exchange reserves fell by $954,581,406 in the past one month.
According to the latest figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the reserves fell below $28 billion for the first time since August 2005, when it stood at $26.951 billion.
The reserves opened 2016 at $28.978 billion on January 4, and stood at $27.993 billion as at Tuesday.
In January 2015, the reserves also experienced a $187.94 billion decline.
On Monday, the former governor of the CBN and Emir of Kano said the apex bank’s foreign exchange policy encourages corruption and rent-seeking reminiscent of the fuel subsidy regime.
He called for the devaluation of the naira, calling it a “bitter pill” and the “least bad option”.
In like manner, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on Nigeria to explore a “sensible” foreign exchange policy, insisting that the current policy may waste the country’s.
Speaking on the economic shocks currently being experienced by Nigeria and Azerbaijan, she disagreed with Nigeria on forex policy.
“Policies adopted by the two are different. Azerbaijan has certainly taken a good fiscal approach, is reassessing spending, is really trying to restore its position, and it’s also using the exchange rate as a buffer,” she had said.
“Nigeria is not there, and we certainly hope that in terms of identification of fiscal resources, removal of oil subsidies, 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.
The country’s reserves have been depleted by over $5.8 billion in the past one year.