The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again raised its benchmark lending rate from 18 to 18.5 percent, in a push to contain the nation’s inflationary trend.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced this on Wednesday after the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.
He said members voted to retain every other rate with asymmetric corridor at +100 and -700 basis points around the MPR.
He also disclosed that the MPC voted to keep the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 32.5 percent while the Liquidity Ratio was retained at 30 percent.
“Ten members voted to raise the MPR by 15 basis points and one member by 25 basis points, and all members voted to keep all parameters in constant,” Emefiele said.
On the various funding interventions of the Bank to key sectors, Emefiele said the disbursement under N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility (RSF) has grossed to ₦2.56 trillion, disbursed to 462 projects across the country.
He said the sum of ₦25.6 billion was disbursed to eight new real sector projects cutting across manufacturing, packaging, pharmaceuticals, plastic and cosmetic products.
The 462 project beneficiaries of RSF comprises 257 manufacturing, 95 agriculture, 97 services and 13 mining sector projects.
Under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP), Emefiele put CBN’s disbursement at ₦13.81 billion, disbursed to three projects in the manufacturing sector. This he said brings the cumulative disbursement under the facility to ₦173.31 billion, disbursed to 81 projects comprising 45 manufacturing, 23 agriculture, 5 healthcare, and 8 services sector projects with an estimated 23,343 direct jobs created.
Similarly, under the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF-2) for capital, and operational expenditure of distribution companies (Discos), Emefiele said CBN disbursed ₦11.82 billion to ease liquidity constraints and support the recovery of legacy debt.
“Under the scheme so far the apex bank has disbursed a cumulative sum of ₦254.39 billion.
The CBN had initiated strategic funding intervention policy during the COVID 19 era to boost manufacturing and other critical sectors of the economy ranging from aviation, health, manufacturing and others which suffered massive decline.
The CBN governor noted that full recovery of both the global and domestic economies remained clouded by legacy and emerging risks.
“Available data and forecasts for key macroeconomic indicators in the Nigerian economy, suggest that the economy will continue on a moderate recovery path through 2023 as legacy headwinds linger.
“These include insecurity in food producing areas; high cost of energy and rising cost of debt servicing,” he added.
Accordingly, he said the economy was forecast to grow in 2023 by 3.03 percent (CBN), 3.75 percent (FGN) and 3.29 percent (IMF).
“The MPC was concerned that despite the tight monetary policy stance adopted since its May 2022 meeting, inflation had not decelerated towards the Bank’s long run objective,” Emefiele said.