The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu disclosed that Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves rose by about $20bn to the oil production exemption granted Nigeria in 2016 by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as the relative peace that has returned to the Niger Delta.
OPEC members, Nigeria alongside Iran and Libya were granted exemption from a resolution by the OPEC to cut oil output by about 740,000 barrels per day so as to improve the price of oil which had gone too low. The decision has since propelled oil prices from below $30 per barrel to around $82 per barrel.
The nation’s external reserves recently hit a new high of $40.4bn, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria. The last time the foreign reserves hit the $40bn mark was January 2014, before the crash in global oil prices, reaching a low of $23.6bn in October 2016.
“Our budget was largely funded and we began to see our reserves, for the first time, grow dramatically from an all-time of $25 billion to as high as 45 billion currently. This is about $20 billion movement in terms of reserves growth.” he said.