Nigeria’s external reserves stood at US$43.849 billion at the end of 2012, representing an increase of US$1.682 billion or about 3.98% from the level of US$42.167 billion recorded by the end-October last year.
“Relative to the end- December 2011 level of US$32.915 billion, the external reserves at the end of December 2012 had risen by US$10.934 billion or 33.21 per cent,” the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) said in a statement Tuesday.
It said the increase was driven mainly by proceeds from crude oil and gas exports, crude-oil related taxes as well as reduced funding of the Wholesale Dutch Action System (wDAS).
The apex bank explained that the foreign reserves level could finance about 9 months of imports.
It said relative stability was also recorded in the foreign exchange rates in the last 12 months.
At the wDAS, the exchange rate opened at N157.31/US$1 on 20 Nov. 2012 and closed at N157.33/US$1 on 31 Dec. 2012, representing a depreciation of N0.02 or 0.01 per cent.
At the Bureau De Change segment of the foreign exchange market, the selling rate opened at N160.00/US$1 on 20 Nov. 2012 and closed at N159.50/US$1 on 31 Dec. 2012, representing an appreciation of N0.50 or 0.31 per cent for the period.
At the interbank segment, the selling rate opened at N157.95/US$1 on 20 Nov. 2012 and closed at N156.25/US$ on 31 Dec. 2012, representing an appreciation of N1.70 or 1.08 per cent.
“Overall, the relative stability recorded in the foreign exchange market could be attributed to the combined effects of improved supply of foreign exchange by oil companies and enhanced capital inflows from portfolio investors during the period under review.
“Also, oil revenue increased at an average of 2.73 per cent monthly throughout 2012. In the first eleven months of 2012, oil receipts totaled US$40.087 billion,” the statement added.