Dwindling Oil Price: CBN devalues naira, raises lending rate

Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has announced a new official naira-to-dollar exchange rate, forcing down the Nigerian currency by 13 naira, as the country struggles to reshape its fiscal policies in response to dwindling oil price.

The bank devalued the naira at its monetary policy committee, MPC, meeting on Tuesday in Abuja, where it also reviewed Nigeria’s monetary policy rate from 12 per cent to 13 per cent.

The monetary policy rate highlights lending rate for the country’s economy.

The naira will now exchange officially at N168 to a dollar, and no longer N155, the bank said.

The bank also moved the private cash reserve ratio from 15 per cent to 20 per cent, while retaining public sector cash reserve ratio at 75 percent.

The CBN said the decision to lower the value of naira against the dollar is to strengthen the currency.

Mr. Emefiele noted the continued drop in global crude oil prices and reiterated the call on the government and the National Assembly to speed up the process towards the immediate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which has been pending passage for the past two years.

The committee urged the government to take advantage of the declining oil prices to cut down on subsidies on supply of petroleum products in the 2015 budget, while states and Local Government should step up efforts to boost their internally generated revenue and reduce reliance on revenues from the federation account.

The CBN governor assured that the bank remained committed to maintain financial system stability, while warning against speculative activities that drive inflation.

More later…

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