By Etuka Sunday
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday announced that it has rescheduled the first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
A statement by the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Isaac Okorafor said, the MPC meeting was earlier scheduled to hold on Monday and Tuesday, January 20 and 21, 2020, but has now been shifted to Thursday and Friday, January 23 and 24, 2020.
Although no reason was advanced for the shift, but Okorafor said, the bank regrets any inconvenience the change may have caused its stakeholders and the general public.
The statement in parts said, “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 statement said.
Recall, members of the Committee at the November, 2019 meeting voted to retain policy rate at 13.5%.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed the committee’s decision explained that the committee unanimously voted to retain the MPR, after the rates were reduced from 14 percent to 13.5 percent in March 2019, the first time the MPR was reduced since July 2016.
Announcing the decision of the MPC, Mr Emefiele said, the MPC voted to: Retain the MPR at 13.5 per cent; Retain the asymmetric corridor at +200/-500 basis points around the MPR; Retain the CRR at 22.5 per cent; and Retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.
He said, the MPC reviewed the upsides and the downsides of the options to tighten, hold or loosen. It was conscious that, while tightening may encourage capital inflows, it also has the downside consequence of constraining the already nascent recovery in output growth.
He said, the Committee also noted that a reduction in the policy rate will improve growth prospects, but in view of the uptick in inflationary pressures, it decided that the balance of risks was in favour of protecting price stability.
He said, “considering the recovery, decline in market interest rates, growth in domestic credit amongst other positive developments, the Committee felt that there would be more gains in the short to medium term in holding policy at its current position.