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Published On: Mon, Jan 22nd, 2018

Emefiele dismisses fears over MPC meeting, insists economy is strong

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has allayed the fears of Nigerians and the international community over the inability to hold the meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) for January.

A statement signed by Emefiele in Abuja on Monday, said that the meeting, which was earlier scheduled for the day and Tuesday, had been cancelled due to the non-confirmation of the MPC nominees by the Senate.

He explained that the MPC meeting for January would not be hold due to the Bank’s inability to form a quorum as stipulated in the CBN Act 2007.

In spite of the statutory meeting not holding in January, the CBN governor said that key economic indicators in the country continued to move in the right direction.

Consequently, he said the CBN would continue to maintain the key monetary variables as decided in the last MPC meeting of November 2017.

The Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) was retained at 14 per cent; CRR at 22.5 per cent; Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent and the Asymmetric Corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

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Emefiele cited the recovery in oil prices and boost in domestic production and Nigeria’s exit from recession in 2017 as positive indicators.

Other indicators are the decline in inflation rate to 15.37 per cent and accretion to the country’s Foreign Exchange Reserves, which now stands at 40.78 billion dollars,

He said that this 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 dollars through the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window, opened by the CBN in 2017.

According to him, these inflows have boosted foreign exchange supply and helped to stabilise the exchange rate.

“We have also seen Market Capitalisation of our Stock Exchange improve by 22.3 per cent from N13.21 trillion on Nov. 30, 2017 to N16.15 trillion as at Jan. 19, 2018.

“Also, the All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 18.8 per cent from 37,944.60 to 45,092.83 over the same period,” he said.

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Emefiele assured that a revised schedule of the Meetings for the MPC would be communicated as soon as the Bank met the statutory requirements of membership and quorum for the MPC.

He also assured that the Management of the CBN 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.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in October 2017, nominated Mrs Aisha Ahmad as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He also sought the confirmation of Mr Adeola  Adenikinju, Mr Aliyu  Sanusi, Mr Robert  Asogwa and Mrs Asheikh Maidugu as members of the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee.

However, the Senate is yet to confirm the nominees.

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.

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