The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, today said that even when the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting would not hold due to lack of quorum, the nation’s economy has continued to exhibit positive tractions by all assessment parameters.
Emefiele, in a statement, therefore assured the local and international community that there was no cause for alarm as the various policy measures put in place by the apex bank are achieving the desired results.
Specifically, he explained that the meeting which is statutorily expected to start today was postponed due to the non-confirmation of the new nominees to the MPC by the Senate. This, he stated, would not allow the quorum required to hold the meeting to be met.
The Governor stated that the CBN would continue to maintain the key monetary variables as decided in the last MPC meeting of November 2017, which was to hold Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 percent, CRR at 22.5 percent, Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent and the Asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.
This is even as he cited the recovery in oil prices and boost in domestic production, Nigeria’s exit from recession in 2017, decline in inflation rate to 15.37 percent, and accretion to the country’s Foreign Exchange Reserves, which now stands at $40.78 billion, as positive indicators, stressing that these underscored the fact that the Nigerian economy remained strong.
Furthermore, he noted that strong investor confidence in Nigeria had attracted inflows of about $13 billion through the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window, opened by the CBN in 2017. According to him, these inflows have boosted FX supply and helped to stabilize the exchange rate.
“We have also seen Market Capitalization of our Stock Exchange improve by 22.3 per cent from N13.21 trillion on November 30, 2017 to N16.15 trillion as at 19 January 2018, while the All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 18.8 percent from 37,944.60 to 45,092.83 over the same period,” he added.
The CBN governor assured that a revised schedule of the Meetings for the MPC would be communicated as soon as the Bank meets the statutory requirements of membership and quorum for the MPC, adding that the management of the apex bank would continue to sustain the gains recorded in the economy as well as its vigilance and proactivity to ensure overall macro-economic stability throughout 2018.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had last October nominated Mrs. Aisha Ahmad as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He also requested the Senate to confirm new nominees namely, Adeola Festus Adenikinju, Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi, Robert Chikwendu Asogwa, and Asheikh Maidugu as members of the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee.
As at today, none of the nominees has been confirmed by the Senate, thereby preventing the committee from forming a quorum.
The Second Schedule of the CBN Act (Section 12(5) and 54, stipulates that the MPC shall meet at least four times in a year and that the quorum shall be six members, two of whom shall be the Governor and a Deputy Governor or two Deputy Governors.