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CBN raises interest rate yet again







Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Tuesday, raised the interest rate by 200 basis points from 22.75 per cent to 24.75 per cent amid soaring inflation.


The central bank made this known after the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held between Monday and Tuesday.


According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s latest annual inflation rate jumped to 31.70 per cent from 29.90 per cent a month prior, primarily fueled by a continuous surge in food prices.


Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the CBN, on Tuesday, disclosed that the MPC voted to adjust the asymmetric corridor around the MPR at +100 to -300 basis points.


He said the committee voted to retain the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 45 per cent for commercial banks and adjust the CRR of merchant banks from 10 per cent to 14 per cent.


The committee also voted to retain the liquidity at 30 per cent.


According to him, the committee’s considerations focused on the current inflationary pressures and the need to anchor inflation expectations as well as ensure sustained exchange rate stability.


“These considerations underscore the importance of the ECB and its commitment to the price stability mandate and the need to urgently bring inflation under control to ensure that the purchasing power of ordinary Nigerians is restored in the short to medium term.


“Members noted the continued rise in headline inflation driven largely by food prices, because of supply shortages, and high cost of Logistics and Distribution. The committee, therefore, was of the view that addressing food insecurity is key to containing current inflationary pressures.


“On this note, members commended the ongoing efforts of the federal government towards addressing food insecurity. Some of these measures include the provision of various palliatives release of grains from the strategic reserves, distribution of seeds and fertilisers as well as farm implements for dry season farming. The committee therefore called for the full implementation of the federal government’s agricultural policies and programmes to improve food supply and further advised for broader fiscal consolidation, particularly on the improvements of tax collection and tax to GDP ratio,” he said.


Cardoso said the committee will continue to monitor developments in the global and domestic economies to ensure that inflationary expectations are anchored to restore and sustain macroeconomic stability.


He announced that the next meeting of the MPC will be held on 20 and 21 May.

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