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Nigeria: Apex bank retains lending rate at 14 percent to check inflation

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 percent to check rising inflation in the country.The Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele told journalists on Tuesday after the two-day meeting in Abuja that the 10 members of the committee voted to retain the rate and other monetary policy parameters such as the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 percent, Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent and the Asymmetric Corridor at 200 basis points.

Emefiele explained that the committee re-evaluated the implications for Nigeria of the continuing global uncertainties as reflected in the unfolding protectionist posture of the United States and some European countries; sustenance of the OPEC-Russian agreement to cut oil production beyond July 2017; sluggish global recovery and the strengthening U.S. dollar.

According to him, the members welcomed the improved implementation of the foreign exchange policy that resulted in naira’s recent appreciation.

The committee, he noted, expressed satisfaction on the release of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, and urged its speedy implementation with clear timelines and deliverables.

He disclosed that the nations’ foreign reserves had improved further to 31 billion dollars. Since February when the CBN started its intervention at the interbank market, it had injected more than 1.5 billion dollars, and the Naira had extended its gains against the dollar.

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