Nigeria’s forex reserves, which slipped marginally to $48.723 billion on Monday, from $48.854 billion last Friday, has continued to hover around $48 billion since March this year.
According to Sanusi, Nigeria’s foreign-currency reserves will probably keep expanding while facing risks from lower-than- projected oil output and falling prices.
Quantitative easing by central banks in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, “all point to a likelihood of strong capital flows to emerging and frontier markets,” that may benefit Nigeria, Sanusi told Bloomberg.
However, he noted that, “the combination of lower global oil prices and weak output performance in Nigeria may lead to a slowdown.”
“We always said that the budget based on projections of about 2.5 million barrels per day was founded on overly optimistic and unrealistic assumptions,” Sanusi said.
Meanwhile, the CBN yesterday concluded its plans to collaborate with the Ogun State government on the cashless policy. The central bank said that the initiative aimed at reducing the dominance of cash in the system will help to increase the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base.
The CBN had said that it plans to extend the initiative that commenced in Lagos January last year, to Ogun, Abia, Rivers, Anambra, Kano and Abuja from July 1.
In a presentation titled: ‘Cashless Nigeria: The Journey So Far,’ delivered at a meeting officials of the Ogun State government in Abeokuta, the Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, said Nigeria was behind other economies in terms of the payment system transformation with 41 per cent, pointing out that countries such as Indonesia, South Africa and Venezuela were at 4.5 per cent, 1.9 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.
He listed the consequences of high cash usage to include robberies, kidnapping, election rigging, high cost of cash handling and processing, revenue leakages and corruption, arguing that alternative channels for payment would not only reduce these vices, but also have positive consequences on the nation's economy.
He said the team was in the state to discuss the cashless exercise that would soon take off in the state, adding that when it becomes operational, it would help increase the State’s IGR, provide easy administration, monitoring and co-ordination of all revenue activities in the state as well as assist to identify fraudulent debts, diversion of fund and excess charges on the state accounts.
On his part, the state government expressed its readiness to collaborate with the CBN to ensure a successful implementation of the policy in the state.
The State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Prince Segun Adesegun, observed that as a highly mobile and industrious people who engage in different forms of economic activities, the cashless policy would afford residents the opportunity to do business without fear of attack from hoodlums.
"Our people are very industrious, they have been engaging in businesses from time immemorial and I am sure this policy will not only help their businesses to grow, but save them from being attacked as a result of having to carry cash around", he said.