Politics & Business

Nigeria’s foreign reserves hit $31.5bn as refineries resume operations

President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war is already yielding dividends. Foreign reserves, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele confirms now stands at $31.5bn. The Port Harcourt and Warri refineries have resumed operations and the Kaduna refinery should begin in August. Even locally refined petroleum products may hit the 20m litre-mark by the end of August.

These gains come first from the blockage of leakages in the economy, particularly from executive looting that pervaded the last administration. Nigeria’s foreign reserves have increased from $28.57 billion at the end of May to $31.53 billion as of July 22, 2015 – Emefiele briefed the press yesterday at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting, in Abuja.

He said: “There have been serious attempts to block leakages both in Naira and in dollars. Some funds have been trapped in banks and that is the reason there is a vigorous effort to ensure that we all embrace the Single Treasury Account where all revenues collected must come to the centre and after all the revenues have come to the centre, then based on the budget that has been approved for any agency of government, whatever is due to them to meet their operational expenses would be given.

“But first point is that all revenues must come to the centre. In the course of these, yes, I can confirm that there were leakages that have been blocked and as a result we have seen some funds trapped in some areas now coming into the centre and that is part of the reason you see the reserves build up.”

It is expected that more such discoveries will be made about the deliberate loopholes that Dr Goodluck Jonathan as the former president allowed in his government. Another four years of such arant and reckless stealing would have turned Nigeria into a beggar nation completely. Where then would our population of perhaps 180 million go to in the world?

In just six weeks of Buhari’s high moral posturing, Nigeria records $31.5bn foreign reserves, a growth of almost $3 bn. Yet different spokesmen of the former ruling party, PDP, are boldly making public statements whereas they ought to be hiding their faces in shame.

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