The Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed this in a fourth quarter 2018 report on Tuesday.
Balance of payment is a summary of all monetary transactions between a country and the rest of the world. These transactions are made by individuals, firms and government bodies.
The CBN stated, “The provisional balance of payments estimates for Q4 2018 showed a significant improvement in the BOP outcome as the overall balance of payments recorded a surplus of $2.8m compared to a huge deficit of $4.54bn and a surplus of $6.18bn recorded in the preceding quarter and corresponding period of 2017, respectively.”
The current account balance improved from a deficit of $1.54bn in Q3 2018 to a surplus of $1.1bn in Q4 2018.
The financial account balance indicated a net acquisition of financial assets of $2.32bn in the review period as against net incurrence of financial liabilities of $4.61bn recorded in the preceding period.
The current account indicated a positive outcome during the review period, recording a surplus of $1.10bn as against a deficit of $1.54bn and a surplus of $3.65bn in the previous quarter and the corresponding period of 2017, respectively.
This development was largely attributable to the decrease in imports and payments on income.
According to the CBN, direct investments inflow decreased by 28.3 per cent to $314.44m when compared with the preceding quarter of 2018.
It, however, indicated a decline of 67.2 per cent when compared to the corresponding period of 2017.
Portfolio investments inflow to the economy decreased significantly to $1.38bn in Q4 2018 from $1.79bn and $3.78bn in the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2017, respectively.
However, other investment liabilities increased to $1.42bn when compared with a reversal of $3.07bn recorded in the preceding quarter.
The stock of external reserves as at end-December 2018 stood at $42.59bn, indicating a depletion of 0.03 per cent when compared with the level in the preceding quarter.
However, when compared with the corresponding period of 2017, it indicated an accretion of 8.2 per cent.
The level of external reserves could finance approximately 13.0 months of imports, compared with 10.3 and 15.6 months of imports cover recorded in the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2017, respectively.
The major highlights of the report showed that in Q4 2018, there was an overall BOP surplus; current account was is in surplus while export earnings increased slightly but imports decreased.
The financial account indicated a net acquisition of financial assets, both foreign direct investment inflows and foreign portfolio inflows decreased, and external reserves decreased slightly.