CBN retains benchmark lending rate at 14%

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent.

The CBN Governor while briefing journalists shortly after the two-day meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja explained that out of the ten members that attended the meeting, nine voted to retain the rate while one voted for an increase.

He also said the committee retained other monetary policy parameters such as the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 per cent, Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent and the Asymmetric Corridor at 200 basis points.
The CBN governor also denied insinuations in some quarters that it was directed by the National Executive Council (NEC) to intervene at the FOREX market before it started injecting money into the interbank market.

“NEC did not direct the CBN as is being insinuated in some quarters.

“We have seen the trend and we took decision to revise it through our FOREX intervention,’’ Emefiele said.

The governor said that the CBN was optimistic that the rate between the official and parallel market would converge further.

When asked if the CBN could sustain the policy, Emefiele said that the bank had the capacity to take decisions and implement them.

He noted that the nations’ foreign reserves had improved further to 31 billion dollars.

Since February when the CBN started its intervention at the interbank market, it had injected more than 1.5 billion dollars, and the Naira had extended its gains against the dollar.

To further sustain its intervention at the market, the apex bank injected another 180 million dollars on Monday to meet the needs of schools, medicals, business and personal travel allowances.

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