ABUJA, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s central bank said on Monday it had injected $210 million into the interbank foreign exchange market, part of an effort to improve liquidity and alleviate the dollar shortages of the past few years.
The bank said in a statement it had released $100 million earmarked for the wholesale market, $55 million for small businesses and individuals, and $55 million for certain dollar expenses such as school fees and medical bills.
“The bank will continue to intervene in the interbank foreign exchange market, in line with its pledge to sustain liquidity in the market and maintain stability,” the central bank said in an emailed statement.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, fell into recession in 2016 largely because of low crude oil prices. Lower oil revenues led to dollar shortages, since crude sales are the country’s main source of dollars.
Africa’s largest economy emerged from recession in the second quarter of last year as crude prices recovered and militant attacks against Niger Delta oil production facilities ended.
Successful debt sales, including multiple Eurobond offerings last year, have helped Nigeria to accrue billions of dollars in foreign reserves. (Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram, editing by Larry King)