Central bank retains interest rate at 14%, injects $186.5m for invisible, SMEs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday kept its Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), its base interest rate, at 14 per cent.

Speaking at an interactive session with Journalists after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, CBN Governor, Godwin Emiefele, explained that the recession corridor would come to an end by the third quarter of 2017.

The Governor said: “In consideration of the challenges weighing down the domestic economy and the uncertainty in the global environment, the Committee decided by a unanimous vote of eight members in attendance to retain the MPR at 14 per cent, alongside all other parameters”.

He added: “MPR at 14 per cent. Retain Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 per cent. Retain liquidity ratio at 30 per cent and retain the asymmetric corridor at plus 200 and minus 500 basis points around the MPR.”

He explained that the Committee’s reluctance to alter the MPR in any fundamental manner is based on the current economic policy configuration and the need to allow the existing policies to fully achieve their intended goals and objectives.

Meanwhile, the CBN has injected the sum of $186.5million into the invisible and the whole Wholesale Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) segments of the forex market.

The sum is made up of $36.5 million in the invisibles, $50m for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segments and $100 in the wholesale segment.

The apex Bank also approved the sale of $100 million at the Wholesale Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) auction announced on Monday, May 23, 2017.