By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has assured both local and international investors as well as the general public that the country’s economy still remains strong despite the apex bank’s inability to hold its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting today.
The meeting could not hold as planned because the Senate failed to confirm nominees of the committee sent to the National Assembly last year by President Muhammadu Buhari. As a result of this, the 12-man committee headed by the CBN Governor could not form a quorum.
Speaking in a statement personally signed by him today in Abuja, the CBN boss said despite this, recent improvements in the various sectors of the economy have demonstrated confidence investors have in the nation’s economy.
According to him, while inflation has continued its decline and is now at 15.37 percent for December 2017, the foreign exchange reserves have grown from about $23 billion in October 2016 to $40.78 billion at the close of business on January 18, 2018.
Mr Emefiele said further that, “With modest recovery in oil prices and boost in domestic production, we exited the recession in 2017,” adding that, “We have recorded inflows of almost $13 billion since our introduction of the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window about nine months ago.”
He said, “These inflows have boosted FX supply and helped stabilize the exchange rate.
“We have also seen market capitalization of our stock exchange improve by 22.3 percent from N13.21 trillion on November 30, 2017 to N16.15 trillion as of January 19, 2018 while the All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 18.8 percent from 37,944.60 to 45,092.83 over the same period,” he said.
The CBN chief said with the above figures, Nigerians and the international community should not be scared of the bank’s inability to hold the MPC meeting today.
However, Mr Emefiele assured that a “revised schedule of meetings for the MPC will be communicated as soon as the bank is able to meet the statutory requirements of membership and quorum.”
He disclosed that at the moment, the apex bank will 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 percent; CRR at 22.5 percent; Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent and the Asymmetric Corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.
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