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Billions Pour Into Nigeria as Tinubu’s Reforms Start to Pay Off

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Foreign investor demand for Nigerian assets and money sent home by citizens living abroad surged last month as reforms instituted by President Bola Tinubu’s administration started paying off.

Foreign portfolio investor asset purchases exceeded $1 billion in February, bringing total receipts so far this year to at least $2.3 billion, Hakama Sidi Ali, a spokeswoman for the central bank, said in an emailed statement. That compared with $3.9 billion for the whole of 2023. Overseas remittances rose more than fourfold to $1.3 billion in February from a month earlier

The inflows were “driven by increased investor interest in short-term sovereign debt following the recent adjustment to benchmark interest rates,” she said. The central bank last month lifted its key rate by 400 basis points to 22.75%.

The government has also introduced a raft of reforms since Tinubu came into office in late May to attract investors back into the economy and support the naira, which has lost more than 70% of its value since last year. They include relaxing foreign-exchange controls, easing rules on international money transfers and reducing the gap between the central bank’s policy rate and yields on the short-dated paper it sells at auctions.

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

The naira gained 0.2% to 1,602 per dollar in official trading on Thursday, according to FMDQ, which tracks the data

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