The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), which measures interest rate from 16.5% to 17.5 percent to tame inflation.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced this after the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
The MPC raised the monetary policy rate by 100 basis point to 17.5% and kept the asymmetric corridor at +100/-700 basis points around the MPR.
The MPC retained Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 32.5% while liquidity ratio is kept at 30%.
Emefiele said MPC “members welcome the recent deceleration of the year-on-year headline inflation, noting that the persistence in policy rate hike over the last few meetings of the committee have started to yield the expected decline in inflation.”
The CBN governor said the committee considered perennial scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit known as petrol, the 2023 general elections, continuous rise in energy prices, exchange rate pressure as well as continuous rise in insecurity.
He said committee members noted that the naira redesign has huge moderating factors to price development on cash.
Announcing the committee’s decision, Emefiele said, “MPC was of the view that although inflation rate moderated marginally in December, the economy remained confronted with the risk of high inflation with adverse consequences on the general standards of living.
“Committee, therefore, decided to sustain the current stance of policy at this point in time to further rein in inflation aggressively.
“MPC voted to raise the MPR to 17.5%, retain the asymmetric at +100/-700 basis points around the corridor.”
The CBN also said its January 31, 2023 deadline for the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes remains.
The CBN on October 26, 2022 had announced its plan to redesign the three banknotes. President Muhammadu Buhari subsequently unveiled the redesigned N200, N500 and N1,000 notes on November 23, 2022, while the apex bank fixed January 31 deadline for the validity of the old notes.
The CBN also pegged its weekly cash withdrawal limits to N500,000 for individuals and N5m for corporate firms.
There have been concerns from many Nigerians over the slow spread of the three new naira notes as the January 31 2023 deadline approaches but the apex bank has insisted that the date stands.
The CBN also recently directed commercial banks to halt over-the-counter payment of the new notes and load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the redesigned naira notes to boost circulation.
The apex bank also launched a cash swap programme nationwide to enable those in the unbanked areas to exchange their old notes for new notes before the deadline.
However, the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum have asked the CBN to extend the date to enable more Nigerians get the new notes.