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    HomeBusinessCBN Raises Interest Rate by 2 digits to 15.5%

    CBN Raises Interest Rate by 2 digits to 15.5%

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    By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

    The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), also known as interest rate, from 13.5% to 15.5% as a way of tackling inflation.

    CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele made the annoucement at a media briefing after that Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja. 

    This is the highest rates adopted by the CBN after it held the Minimum Rediscounted Rate (MRR) at 15 per cent on August 17, 2003.

    The MRR was the rate adopted by the CBN until it introduced a new Monetary policy framework in 2006 which replaced MRR with Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).

    The CBN governor, who spoke after the 287th MPC meeting, said its decision was a move to save the naira and curb inflation, adding that the members voted unanimously to raise the rates.

    Benchmark lending rate was as low as six per cent thirteen years ago in 2009.

    When Covid-19 struck in 2020, the MPC reduced the MPR by 100 basis points from 12.5 to 11.5 per cent.

    But this was increased to 13.0 per cent and by another 100 basis points to 14 per cent in May and July 2022 respectively.

    Currently, Nigeria’s inflation is at 20.52 per cent according to the National Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index for in August 2022.

    During the meeting, the apex bank governor said high energy cost and electricity tariff pushed the inflation upwards.

    According to him, the increase in US rates has also pressured the naira and making investors exit the Nigerian market.

    Emefiele said broad outlook remains clouded due to headwinds of the Ukraine war and residual impacts of Covid-19.

    He said the Nigerian economy will grow but at a “much subdued rate” due to the increased demand for money driven by the 2023 general election.

    According to him, the rise in inflation over the past four months has been worrisome stressing that loosening inflation would worsen Nigeria’s economic condition as well as naira depreciation.

    He said a tight policy stand would help appreciate the naira.

    According to analysts, the hike in interest rate for three consecutive times is a way of luring foreign inflows into the country and easing the pressure on the naira.

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