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CBN reports $1.3b upsurge in remittances

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reported a significant increase $1.3 billion in foreign exchange inflow into the economy in February 2024, with marked increments in remittance payments by Nigerians overseas and purchases of naira assets by foreign portfolio investors.

CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, said: “The Bank’s data indicates that overseas remittances rose to $1.3 billion in February 2024, more than four times the $300 million received in January.

“Foreign investors purchased more than $1 billion of Nigerian assets last month, with total portfolio flows of at least $2.3 billion recorded thus far in 2024 compared to $3.9 billion seen in total for last year,” she added.

She said higher FX inflows continued in March 2024, driven by increased investor interest in short-term sovereign debt following the recent adjustment to benchmark interest rates.

She noted that Government securities issuances had been significantly oversubscribed, with foreign investors accounting for over 75% of bids received at the auctions conducted on March 1 and 6, 2024.

Recall that the CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, set out a detailed strategy to curb inflation, stabilise the exchange rate, and spur confidence in the banking system and economy.

He used last month’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting and a conference call with foreign portfolio investors to set expectations for sustained increases in Nigeria’s foreign currency reserves and improved liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

“All the different measures we have taken to boost reserves and create more liquidity in the markets have started to pay off,” Governor Cardoso said.

“When people understand the real issues and see a strategy and a plan, things tend to calm down. Our objective today is to ensure that the market has supply, that the market functions, and that investors can come in and go out,” he noted.

…higher FX inflows continued in March 2024, driven by increased investor interest in short-term sovereign debt following the recent adjustment to benchmark interest rates.

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