The first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ended in Abuja on Wednesday with a resolution by members to retain all monetary policy parameters unchanged.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, told reporters at the end of the meeting that members resolved to keep lending rate at 14 per cent as it was during the committee’s last meeting on November 21, 2017.
The meeting which was originally scheduled for January failed to hold following the inability of the Committee to form a quorum.
The new members appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari last year to fill the vacant positions left by former members who either retired or completed their tenures were not confirmed by the Senate.
The law makers were protesting the continued refusal of the executive to replace the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, after they rejected his appointment.
The decision to retain the lending rate, also called the monetary policy rate (MPR), would be the 10th consecutive time since 2016.
Mr Emefiele who said other fundamentals were moderating steadily on the path of a firm economic recovery, said the committee also decided to leave the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 22.5 per cent; liquidity ratio at 30 per cent, and asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.
The resolution of the Committee confirmed projections by economic analysts who prior to the meeting said they were not expecting any intervention by members to change the fundamentals.
All the analysts who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday said raising the lending rate during the meeting to tighten monetary policy was not advisable, as it would shut out more and more people from accessing finance for their businesses.
On the other hand, the analysts also said reducing the monetary policy at a time inflation rate was still high at 14.3 per cent was capable of dragging real interest rate further into the negative zone and negatively impact foreign exchange market.
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