This paper provides empirical evidence linking exports and foreign aid to international reserve accumulation. Country-specific data spanning from 1981-2015 on oil and non-oil exports and foreign aid in Nigeria were sourced from Central Bank of Nigeria Statistical Bulletin and analyzed using error correction mechanism (ECM) in addition to unit root and cointegration tests. As observed from the Augmented Dickey-Fuller test unit root, the variables are mixed integrated. Long run relationship was established amongst the series from the Johansen cointegration test result. The parsimonious ECM that lagged values of oil exports impact positively on foreign reserve holding. 1 percent increase in lag two of oil exports leads to 0.367 percent in the external reserve. Similarly, the first lag of non-oil exports is positively linked to external reserve. With 1 percent increase in non-oil exports, international reserve increases by 0.499 percent. The error correction estimate (-0.5099) indicates that the model is well behaved as any short run disequilibrium in the system is reconciled at the speed of 50.9 percent to achieve long run equilibrium position. On the basis of the findings, it is concluded that exports are helpful in boosting the foreign reserve holding in Nigeria. Thus, this paper recommends for the diversification of the export base in order to keep the foreign reserve holding on the path of rapid and sustainable growth.
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