Rising from the January monetary policy committee meeting, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retained the benchmark interest rate at 11.5 percent even as recession persists.
Just like in November 2020, the CBN retained the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR. It also retained the CRR at 27.5 percent; and retained the liquidity ratio at 30 percent.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele also said it will ramp up interventions to aid the economy exit recession at most in the first quarter 2021.
The CBN Governor also revealed at date over N500bn has been injected into the economy via the Anchor Borrowers programme (ABP).
He also said the CBN is working at attracting between $10bn to $15bn diaspora remittances annually thus any international money transfer operator subverting the process will be sanctioned.
He also said local importers who stash forex abroad and deny the country of the much-needed forex resources will be blacklisted.
“We will no longer allow importers to keep their dollars abroad after they make profits,” he said.
Emefiele said the CBN will likely suspend interest rates on interventions again for another 12 months if the second-wave COVID-19 rides on.
Speaking on rising commodities process he said private commodities haven’t helped the economy, thus, he said the Nigerian Commodity Exchange must be revamped.
He said the CBN has written and obtained the permission of the president to restructure the Commodity Exchange in Nigeria. We will execute the Commodity Exchange to stabilize food prices. CBN has 60 percent controlling stakes in the Nigeria Commodities Market.