The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has revealed that Nigeria’s excess crude account has $72.41 million as of July 7.
She disclosed this figure during a meeting of the National Economic Council, which is made of the 36 States Governors and headed by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osibajo.
The excess crude account is the oil savings account, which holds dollar reserves from sales of crude oil above the assumed benchmark price, contained $324.54 million as of Nov. 20 last year.
Nigeria, Africa’s top crude oil exporter, has been running down its rainy day savings fund to support the economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic amid lower oil prices. Crude oil sales make up around 90% of foreign exchange earnings.
Nigeria which also has the largest economy in Africa, has recorded low growth since emerging from a recession in 2017 and has rationed foreign currency amid shortages and currency weakness.
The World Bank forecasts Nigeria’s economy will shrink 3.2-7.4% this year, depending on the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak. The lender is considering a $3 billion budget support loan for Nigeria, which would cover around half of the country’s external financing shortfall.