In an ongoing effort to curb inflation and relieve pressure on the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday increased its benchmark lending rate to 16.5 per cent.
This was announced by CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele at the conclusion of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja. The apex bank explained that more tightening was necessary as prior increases were starting to show results. Along with maintaining the MPR’s asymmetrical corridor at +100 and -700 basis points, the committee opted to keep the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 32.5 percent.
The apex bank also retained the 30 per cent liquidity ratio. The central bank has maintained its strong attempts in the foreign exchange market to support the country’s plunging currency, even as inflation rate continued to rise. In October, Nigeria’s inflation rate reached a 17-year high of 21.09 percent. Peoples Gazette reported in October that the apex bank had announced intentions to redesign naira notes as part of efforts to stabilise the country’s sinking currency.
In order to absorb liquidity, the CBN boosted the cash reserve requirement (CRR) early this year to a minimum of 32.5 per cent.