Home » Nigeria needs $60bn FX reserves to peg $1 at N500

Nigeria needs $60bn FX reserves to peg $1 at N500

by Samson Echenim
Naira to dollar

Nigeria would need foreign exchange reserves of up to $60 billion to help the naira meet the dollar at N500, according to a policy document prepared for the government by a panel of advisers.

The economic growth document proposes a doubling of exports to support the new government’s growth ambitions.

But according to Reuters, Nigeria would need to more than double exports from $42.4 billion last year. The foreign reserves of Africa’s most populous nation which have been falling, stood at $35.25 billion at the end of May, official data shows.

Since he government was inaugurated on May 29, President Bola Tinubu has moved swiftly to reform the economy, scrapping a costly petrol subsidy and removing curbs on the foreign currency market, which saw the official rate of the naira tumble to record lows.

The report from Tinubu’s policy advisory council, seen by Reuters on Friday, proposes reforming the central bank, including a halt to its quasi-fiscal or so-called development operations that accelerated under suspended governor Godwin Emefiele.

Tinubu’s spokesman, Dele Alake, did not immediately respond to telephone calls from Reuters and messages to seek comment.

About $50 billion to $60 billion in reserves and monthly inflows of up to $8 billion in export earnings and other capital inflows “will be required to support the policy at an exchange rate of 500 to 600 naira to the dollar,” the report said.

This would be achieved by ramping up production of oil and gas, lifting manufacturing exports and attracting investment in light electronics assembly, fertilisers, sugar and palm oil.

The revenue authority, customs and maritime agencies would be collapsed into a new single Nigerian Revenue Service to improve tax and revenue collection, the policy document showed.

With more revenue, the government can ramp up capital expenditure to 25% of gross domestic product from 4.1% and narrow the budget deficit to 3% of GDP, down from 4.78% estimated for this year, the document said.

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