Empirical assessment of the impact of external reserves on economic growth in Nigeria


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In the last few decades, the continuous depreciation in the value of the naira occasioned by the dwindling external reserves affected the exchange rate resulting in several macroeconomic fundamentals in Nigeria. The objective of the study is to examine the impact of external reserves on economic growth in Nigeria. The study utilizes the descriptive approach for the trend analysis, while the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model was relied upon in scrutinizing the contemporaneous dynamics for the unrestricted ECM. The data that were culled from several issues of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s annual report and statement of account covered the period 1986–2020. Descriptively, the study finds that economic growth rate and external reserves witnessed fluctuations with the latter being relatively more pronounced. Accordingly, the study finds that in the long run, all the explanatory variables were key determinants of economic growth in Nigeria. Specifically, economic growth is significantly and positively responsive to changes in external reserves by 0.22%, inflation rate by 0.08%, and a one period lag of GDP of 0.21% contrary to its negative response to changes in exchange rate of 0.10% in the short run. The paper recommended that the government may consider providing conducive environment for increased productivity, thereby increasing foreign reserves. Likewise, the situation that may encourage exchange rate misalignment should be avoided. Finally, inflation rate must be controlled within a single digit.

The support from Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria, to publish this article is appreciated.

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    • Figure 1. Dynamics of external reserves and economic growth in Nigeria
    • Figura 2. CUSUM test
    • Table 1. Structure of external reserves and economic growth in Nigeria
    • Table 2. Unit root test results
    • Table 3. ARDL model of estimation
    • Table 4. ARDL bound test for cointegration
    • Table 5. Estimated ECM
    • Conceptualization
      Joseph Ibrahim Adama, Bright Ohwofasa
    • Methodology
      Joseph Ibrahim Adama, Bright Ohwofasa
    • Supervision
      Joseph Ibrahim Adama
    • Writing – review & editing
      Joseph Ibrahim Adama, Ademola Onabote
    • Formal Analysis
      Bright Ohwofasa , Ademola Onabote
    • Investigation
      Bright Ohwofasa
    • Writing – original draft
      Bright Ohwofasa
    • Data curation
      Ademola Onabote
    • Software
      Ademola Onabote
    • Validation
      Ademola Onabote
    • Visualization
      Ademola Onabote