Dollar scarcity deepens as Nigeria’s forex reserves hit seven-month low

The shortage of dollars in Africa’s biggest economy is worsening as its foreign exchange reserves have dropped to a seven-month low.

Data obtained by Markets Reporters from the Central Bank of Nigeria show that the forex reserves have fallen by at least $1 billion this month to $38.57 billion on May 26, the lowest since Oct. 11, 2021.

Access Bank, one of the country’s biggest lenders, said in an update on forex transactions that “due to limited FX availability provided by the CBN, we require a 30-day period to fulfil requests for [international] school fees, upkeep and rent payment.”

Several banks announced earlier this year that the monthly limit on naira cards for international transactions had been reduced to $20 from $100 while some lenders said the use of their naira cards for international ATM cash withdrawals and PoS transactions had been temporarily suspended.

The country’s reserves had risen to a high of $41.83 billion on Oct. 29, 2021, buoyed largely by the special drawing rights allocated to it by the International Monetary Fund in August.

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