I Don’t Foresee Cut in Interest Rates Soon—Emefiele

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria is looking at the possibility of reducing its double-digit inflation rate to a single digit in the region of 9 percent in the near future, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, hinted on Tuesday.

Mr Emefiele dropped this hint during an interview with Bloomberg TV in London.

He, along with other delegates from Nigeria, are in the United Kingdom for a legal battle between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) over a court judgment of $9.6 billion against Nigeria.

Mr Emefiele stated that the apex bank was anticipating a single-digit inflation of 9 percent and lower before it could consider cutting down on the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).

“It (inflation) has been sticky coming downwards as soon as it hit about 11 percent. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would love to see it at about 9 percent before beginning to aggressively think about easing,” he told Bloomberg in the interview.

According to the CBN Governor, the reduction in interest rate might happen in the year 2020.

“How soon do I see interest rates coming down? I’m not seeing that coming this year (2019). During the course of 2020, we may be able to see that, but I can’t see that until we begin to see the numbers showing inflation is trending downward,” Mr Emefiele stated.

At the last MPC meeting held on September 20 and 21, 2019, the committee retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5 percent and held all other policy parameters constant.

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