*President  to unveil new Naira notes today

By Babajide Komolafe, Economy Editor  

In a sustained fight against inflationary pressures, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, further raised the  Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, by  100 basis points to 16.5 per cent from 15.5 per cent.

CBN Governor, Mr. Governor Emefiele, who disclosed this while speaking to the media on the outcome of the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting concluded yesterday, added that the apex bank will continue to raise the MPR until the inflation rate abates.

Meanwhile, he also disclosed that   the redesigned N1000,   N500, and N200 notes will be unveiled today by President Mohammadu Buhari at the Federal Executive Council, FEC, adding that there is no going back on the January 31st deadline for end to the use of the existing currency notes as legal tender.

The MPC, however, retained the Cash Reserve Ratio, CRR, at 32.5 per cent, Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent, with the asymmetric corridor at +100/-700 basis point around the MPR.

Inflation hurting economy

The  rising prices of goods and services had pushed triggered the inflation rate to 21.09 percent in October, 2022, in a nine consecutive months rise from 15.6 per cent in January, prompting the CBN to raise the MPR by 500 basis points within four consecutive MPC meetings from 11.5 percent in April 2022.

Explaining the rationale for the further hike in the MPR, Emefiele said that the persistent rise in inflation is hurting economic growth and the  driving factors are still existing. 

He stated: “We believe that at 21.9 percent inflation is already hurting  economic growth. If we did not see this high level of inflation in the last seven months we would have been damned optimistic that growth would have hit  close to 4.0 percent. But because of the aggressive rate of rise in inflation, it is hurting  economic growth at this level in Nigeria and that is the reason you would see that we are taking this very seriously because whether you would even try to either loosen or hold rates low what you would find is that inflation rate at this kind of levels of above from 14 to 15 percent into 21 percent,   economic growth would either decelerate or at best will be very very weak, would not be at a moderated level.”  

  Buhari unveils new naira notes

Announcing the unveiling of the Naira note by President Buhari, Emefiele stated: “We would not shift any deadline, what we have done is not against the law, it is in tandem with the law.

“We announced this program on October 26, 2022 and we said upon release of the new currency, the legal tender would run concurrently with the old currency till 31, January 2023, that is almost 100 days. 100 days is enough for any person in any part of Nigeria to deposit his money in the bank and get ready to withdraw cash when the new notes are released.  

“Indeed we are no longer waiting till December 15th  to unveil and begin to release the new notes. By the special grace of God tomorrow the 23rd  of November 2022, the President has graciously accepted to unveil the new currencies”.


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