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Tightening monetary rates yielding desired results – CBN

There are indications that the aggressive monetary tightening policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria is beginning to yield results as Nigeria’s headline inflation rate,…

There are indications that the aggressive monetary tightening policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria is beginning to yield results as Nigeria’s headline inflation rate, on a month-on-month basis, in October 2023, stood at 1.73%, which was 0.37% lower than the rate recorded in September 2023.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the headline inflation rate increased to 27.33% in October 2023 relative to the September 2023 headline inflation rate which was 26.72%.

It, however, noted that on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in October 2023 was 1.73%, which was 0.37% lower than the rate recorded in September 2023 (2.10%).

This means that in October 2023, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in September 2023.

The apex bank has introduced monetary reforms which were aimed at reducing the amount of idle cash in circulation and hence money supply, were designed to complement other inflation fighting measures, especially the upward adjustments of the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR.

The CBN had raised the MPR eight times and by 7.25 percentage points since May 2022 in response to steady rise in the inflation rate.

Commenting on the inflation rate, the spokesman of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, expressed optimism that the low rate of increase in the average price level in October compared to September 2023, was a pointer to the fact that the Bank’s monetary policy stance to tighten rates and its money market reforms were yielding the desired effect.

He noted that aggressive monetary tightening using various liquidity mechanisms including removing the cap on the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) and Open Market Operations had raised Open Buy Back (OBB) rates from less than 1% in August to their expected levels around the monetary policy rate today.

In spite of 0.61% increase in the headline inflation rate from 26.72% in September 2023 to 27.33% in October 2023, Isa remained upbeat that the CBN was headed in the desired direction in terms of achieving price stability.

According to him, available statistics showed that the first indication of deceleration in prices was recorded in September and further reforms in the money market, which commenced in October, had accelerated easing in prices as indicated by the substantial drop in month-on-month changes recorded in October.

“Moderation in month-on-month changes in prices observed in the headline, food and core components of the consumer basket followed reforms in the money market and relative stability in the FX market,” he added.

Padi4Life: Hi-Tech Wins FCMB’s 60-Team Hackathon Challenge

The inaugural FCMB Hackathon Challenge saw Team Hi-Tech, led by Afolabi Ayanfe and Sophia Ezeh, win the top prize of N3 million for the creation of the digital financial solution, Padi4Life. A partnership with Ingressive For Good (I4G), the hackathon launched a new cohort of techies and fostered innovation and creative problem-solving.

With over 2,900 entries and 60 competing teams participating in a 72-hour hackathon, Team Hi-Tech’s Padi4Life made the final shortlist. It stood out for its peer-to-peer lending, asset tokenization, and blockchain-based investment and engagement features.

Rita Onwudiwe and Augustus Shaminga of Team KoloPadi secured the N1 million first runner-up prize for their KoloPadi solution. The second runner-up prize of N500,000 went to Victor Tochukwu of Team Xperia for its Money Minder solution. The total prize allocation was N4.5 million. Initially, each competing Team had five members, with some dropping off and reducing the Team. Yet, resilient members like Victor of Team Xperia were undeterred and made the final shortlist as a one-person team.

Afolabi Ayanfe, the Team Lead of Hi-Tech, expressed gratitude to FCMB, saying, “Padi4Life is designed to build a community of trusted financial partners, meeting the needs of Nigerians.” The Team affirmed its commitment to building a robust platform that meets the needs of Nigerians. They thanked First City Monument Bank for providing them a platform to launch themselves.

Rolayo Akhigbe, Divisional Head of Transaction Banking at FCMB, stressed the bank’s commitment to innovation through Open Banking. She urged FinTechs, developers, and start-ups to utilise First City Monument Bank’s Application Programming Interface (API) to develop inclusive and sustainable solutions.

Diran Olojo, Group Head of Corporate Affairs at FCMB, encouraged winners and participants to collaborate with the bank, saying that Open Banking is the future. “The future is connected, and open banking is key to unlocking this potential. With our APIs and more in development, we are addressing challenges and creating a more inclusive and sustainable financial system for everyone. We are ready to work with innovators and call on new-generation techies to join us on this journey of building the connected future of finance.”

The hackathon judges, led by Rolayo Akhigbe, included Diran Olojo, Shamsideen Fashola, Divisional Head of Personal Banking, Bipul Deka, Chief Digital Officer, Rotimi Famuwagun, Chief Information Officer, all of FCMB and the Ingressive for Good CEO, Sean Burrowes.

The FCMB and I4G Hackathon showcased inventive concepts and technical skills. It fostered collaboration and networking among participants, creating an interactive ecosystem for knowledge exchange. First City Monument Bank, a member of the FCMB Group Plc, remains dedicated to fostering inclusive and sustainable growth within its communities.

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