The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shifted its first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the year, earlier scheduled to hold on January 20-21, 2020 to January 23-24.
In a tweet, the CBN said it regrets the shift and “any inconvenience this change may have caused its stakeholders and the general public.”
“The first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for 2020, earlier slated to hold on Monday and Tuesday, January 20 and 21, 2020, respectively, has now been rescheduled for Thursday and Friday, January 23 and 24, 2020. The CBN regrets any inconvenience this change may have caused its stakeholders and the general public,” the banking sector regulator said in the tweet.
The nation’s apex bank gave no reason for the postponement of the rate-setting meeting of its MPC, which usually determines the benchmark interest rate for the regulator bank.
It would be recalled that the MPC at its last meeting for 2019 in November 25-26, it retained the benchmark rate at 13.5 per cent in spite of the spike in inflationary rate and surging liquidity in the banking system.
Nigeria’s inflation rate stood at 11.85 per cent in November, higher than 11.61 per cent in the previous month.
The committee said it regarded the uptick inflation as a temporary reaction to the closure of land borders by the government and believed that the reason for the closure will have a long term positive impact on the economy.
in arriving at the decision to retain the benchmark rate, the MPC said “that holding its current policy position offers pathways for appraising the effect of the heterodox policies to encourage lending by the banking industry without varying the policy rate as the downside risk to growth and caution on inflation looks stable.
“The MPC is also of the view that the improvements in the macroeconomic indicators such as the GDP, NPLs, CAR, and the LDR, suggest that current monetary policy stance is yielding results. It, therefore, feels that maintaining the current stance would be necessary in order to sustain the improvements,” the MPC said in its report at the end of the November meeting.