BREAKING: CBN raises Nigeria’s interest rate to 22.75%

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.

The CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, disclosed this while reading the communiqué of the first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the year on Tuesday in Abuja.

Cardoso also said the MPC also raised the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to forty-five per cent while the liquidity ratio was left unchanged at thirty per cent.

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Cardoso said the committee voted to adjust the asymmetric corridor around the MPR to +100 to -700 from plus 100 to -300 basis points and raised the cash reserve ratio from 32.5 percent to 45 percent

He said the move was in a bit to tame the stubborn inflation that had not responded much to the previous marginal increase.

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He said, “All 12 members of the committee decided to further tighten monetary policy by raising the MPR by 400 basis points to 22.75 per cent from 18.75 per cent. Adjust the asymmetric corridor around the MPR to +100 to -700 from plus 100 to -300 basis points.

“The committee also raised the cash reserve ratio from 32.5 per cent to 45 per cent while retaining the liquidity ratio at 30 per cent.”

At the last meeting in July 2023, the MPC, headed by the former acting governor of the apex bank, Folashodun Shonubi, increased the monetary policy rate by 25 basis points to 18.75 per cent, from 18.5 per cent in May last year.

The capital requirement ratio was retained at 32.5 per cent while the liquidity ratio stood at 30 per cent.

Since then, the MPR has risen from 13 per cent in May 2022 to 18.75 per cent in July 2023 when the last MPC was held.

Analysts’ expectations had been divergent ahead of the first MPC meeting, but the new rate surpassed all projections by financial experts.

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According to a Reuters poll released on Friday, Nigeria is expected to implement two aggressive interest rate hikes in less than two months to control inflation and strengthen the naira, following a few missed monetary policy sessions

It said the policy rate is expected to increase by 225 basis points to 21.00 per cent despite the local currency still trading near its record low on the black market.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had said interest rates needed to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.

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