*Boost Nigeria’s foreign reserves
05 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, expects to stop its importation of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS by 2019 and invariably increase the country’s reserves.
This is contained in the Corporation’s latest financial report for June 2017.
The country’s Petroleum minister, Ibe Kachikwu had earlier promised to end the importation of PMS by 2019.
In August, Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $31.22 billion, according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The increase represents the first in about 2 years.
Nigeria’s reserves have been affected by the economic challenges being faced by the country, including low oil prices, crumbling value of the Naira and high foreign exchange demands.
The last time the reserves rose to such level was in July 2015, shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari took office, according to Reuters reports.
The CBN data indicates an appreciation in the reserves in the midst of forex intervention put in place for the various exchange markets by the CBN.
The CBN is believed to have injected a cumulative sum of $3.61 billion between February and April 2017.
The funds injected into the foreign exchange market is aimed at checking speculators from preying on the Naira.
Since the injection of the funds, the Naira has remained relatively stable, hovering at about N363 to U.S Dollar.
In 2010, the then governor of CBN, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, blamed the NNPC for the fast decline in the nation’s foreign reserves.
According to him, the JVCs were having a negative effect on the economy, noting, “It is a big problem for us. The reason for the depletion of our foreign reserves is that the revenues that come in are increasingly being diminished by the Joint Venture Cash Calls.
“The very high Joint Venture Cash Calls was robbing the government of monies that would have gone into other uses including developing the necessary infrastructure and improving the economy,” he said.