By Babajide Komolafe
LAGOS — The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, said that Nigeria received N6.24 trillion ($40 billion) as oil revenue from January to November last year.
Meanwhile, the apex bank retained its tight money supply policy, as it left the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, at 12 per cent.
In a communiqué issued at the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, of the CBN, yesterday, the apex bank said: “In the first 11 months of 2012, oil receipts totalled US$40.087 billion.”
This, it said, enhanced the stability of the exchange rate and built up of the external reserves.
It said: “Overall, the relative stability recorded in the foreign exchange market could be attributed to the combined effects of improved supply of foreign exchange by oil companies and enhanced capital inflows from portfolio investors during the period under review.
“The Committee expressed satisfaction with the sustained accretion to external reserves which stood at US$43.849 billion as at December 31, 2012, representing an increase of US$1.682 billion or about 3.98 per cent from the level of US$42.167 billion at end-October 2012.
“Relative to the end-December 2011 level of US$32.915 billion, the external reserves at the end of December 2012, had risen by US$10.934 billion or 33.21 per cent. The increase in the level of foreign reserves was driven mainly by proceeds from crude oil and gas exports and crude oil related taxes as well as reduced funding of the WDAS on account of the huge inflow of foreign portfolio investments, which was about 77.0 per cent of total inflows through the CBN.
Retains MPR at 12%
The CBN, however, defied calls for a change in its monetary policy, by leaving its Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 12 per cent. Defending its decision to retain MPR at 12 per cent, the CBN said: “Given the stability achieved in the last 12 months with average year-on-year headline inflation rate at 12.24 per cent, in 2012, the MPR of 12 per cent was considered to be just about right.
“The Committee considered the calls for a reduction in the MPR because of the benign inflation outlook, other things being equal.”
However, this may be undermined by the increased sub-national government spending and Federal Government high expenditure in 2013, the higher benchmark oil price in the 2013 budget and the US debt ceiling with possible impact on commodity prices.
“In view of the foregoing, the Committee decided that it was prudent to hold and monitor developments between now and the next meeting of the MPC. The Committee, therefore, decided by a majority vote of 8:2 to maintain the current policy stance i.e., to retain the MPR at 12.0 per cent with a corridor of +/- 200 basis points around the midpoint; retain the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 12.0 per cent; and to retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30.0 per cent. Two members voted for a reduction of the MPR by 25 basis points.”
Sells $100m, Naira gains 8k
The CBN sold $100 million dollars at the Wholesale Dutch Auction System, WDAS, session held, yesterday, while the naira appreciated by eight kobo in the interbank foreign exchange market.
Analysis of the WDAS session showed that the CBN sold $100 million as against $108 million in the previous session last week, representing eight per cent decline. But the official exchange rate rose slightly by one kobo to N155.73 from N155.72 per dollar. Cumulatively, the CBN has sold $371.2 million this year.