…..Says Buhari Will Launch New Naira Notes Wednesday
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), the benchmark interest rate, by 100 basis points to 16.5%, at the end of its two-day meeting in Abuja.
The latest MPR is the highest lending rate ever set by the apex bank since 2001.
The Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, who spoke on the key decisions of the committee as contained in the communiqué issued at the end of the committee’s meeting, explained that the committee members took the decision based on their belief that the monetary tightening measure would help restore investor confidence in the economy and also tame the surging inflation rate.
He explained that aside from increasing the MPR by 100 basis points, the members of the committee decided that the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR, the CRR at 32.5% and the Liquidity Ratio at 30% should be retained.
Emefiele also disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari would launch the new Naira notes on Wednesday, November 23, as part of the monetary policy measures to stabilize the nation’s economy.
He maintained that the January 31, 2023 deadline set that the old currencies would not serve as a legal tender remained sacrosanct and, therefore, urged the public to adhere strictly to the deadline by depositing the old notes in their banks latest by that date.
He thanked the President for his support to the apex bank over the past years, particularly for his support for the new Naira policy.
The apex bank governor said: “We thank Mr. President for the support we have received from him for over 7 and half years. We thank security agencies for working with us for monitoring the flows and we thank the Senate who besides the pressure is also giving us support.
“We will not shift any deadline. It is in tandem with the law. We are no longer waiting till December 15th. By the 23rd of November, the President will unveil the new naira notes and the FEC chambers by 10 am tomorrow”, Emefiele added.
Recall that the CBN increased the MPR from 11.5% earlier this year to 15.5% across three consecutive rate hikes before the latest hike to 16.5% as part of its measures to curb the rising inflation and other macroeconomic challenges in the economy. But then, the impact of the measures on rising general price level is yet to manifest in real terms.
Latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 21.09% in October 2022 from 20.77% recorded in the preceding month.