The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday announced that the country's external reserves had increased to 34.14 billion U.S. dollars by the end of May, hitting an all time high.
This is a rise from the 31.33 billion dollars posted in last January, said a statement issued here in the capital Abuja by Festus Odoko, head of the CBN's corporate affairs.
The announcement came after Sen. Farouk Bello-Bunza alleged Monday that Nigeria had only 9.09 billion dollars in its foreign reserves.
Reacting to the legislator's claim, Odoko said Nigeria's external reserves had never fallen below 16.9 billion dollars, insisting that the CBN was the only body mandated by law to keep custody of and manage Nigeria's external reserves.
"It is embarrassing and shocking that a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the person of Farouk Bello-Bunza could just peddle any figure and a newspaper could report such without cross- checking with the CBN," Odoko said.
It is believed that sharp increases of oil price in the world market is the major contributor to Nigeria's growth in external reserves.