By Nse Anthony-Uko
ABUJA, (Sundiata Post) – In line with analysts’ expectations, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday, retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 14 per cent.
The bank also retained the cash reserve requirement and liquidity ratio were also retained at 22.5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, as well as asymmetric corridor of +200 basis points and -500 basis points
This is the fourth time in a row the CBN has decided to leave all rates at the same level.
CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele told Journalists after the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that the naira exchange rate with the dollar remained stable.
He said the nine of 10 members present at the meeting decided unanimously to keep the asymmetric corridor at +200 and +500 basis points.
He also asked that the federal government carry out a speedy implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
The CBN’s decision comes weeks after Nigeria’s inflation rate recorded its first reduction in fifteen months.
The inflation rate fell to 17. 78 in February from 18.72 in January.
“On a Headline basis, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 17.78 percent (year-on-year) albeit at a slower pace in February 2017, 0.94 percent points lower from the rate recorded in January (18.72) percent,” NBS said.
“This represents the first time in 15 months that the headline CPI has declined on year on year basis representing the effects of slower rises in already high food and non food prices and favourable base effects over 2016 prices.”
MPC said inflation was down, year-on-year, but the food index rose in February from figures recorded in January, mounting pressure on consumers.
Emefiele however advised Government to step up efforts to implement the Recovery and Growth plan
The document is a medium term plan aimed at revamping the economy between 2017 and 2020.
“The Plan outlines bold new initiatives such as ramping up oil production to 2.5mbpd by 2020, privatizing selected public enterprises/ assets, and revamping local refineries to reduce petroleum product imports by 60 percent by 2018.” The document read
“Other initiatives include environmental restoration projects in the Niger Delta, which demonstrate the Federal Government’s determination to bring environment sustainability to the forefront of its policies.
“As part of this Plan, oil revenues will be used to develop and diversify the economy, not just sustain consumption as was done in the past.