CBN to hold first MPC meeting under Cardoso in February

THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would hold its first meeting under the tenure of the new governor, Olayemi Cardoso, on Monday, February 26, and Tuesday, February 27.

The last monetary policy meeting was held in July 2023, under the then-acting governor Folashodun Shonubi, where the committee members voted to increase the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points from 18.5 to 18.75 per cent.

The announcement of the upcoming MPC meeting followed a two-day strategic session for the MPC members in preparation for the February meeting.

The acting director of the Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Hakama Sidi Ali, said the meeting engaged in an in-depth discussion about the committee’s objectives.

She explained that the meeting focus areas include deliberations on the strategic plan to effect necessary improvements in the monetary policy transmission mechanism.

According to her, the sessions were facilitated by former MPC members, monetary policy communication specialists at the International Monetary Fund IMF, and directors of departments critical to the MPC process.

“The valuable insights gained from these discussions will significantly contribute towards the robustness of the forthcoming MPC meetings,” she noted.

The CBN governor had in November 2023 assured that he would focus on the bank’s primary mandate, which is to ensure price stability in addition to other objectives such as issuing legal currency and safeguarding external reserves. He stressed that he would promote a sound financial system and provide economic and financial advice to the government.

Cardoso has also outlined the bank’s policy direction for 2024, with a pledge to prioritise price and exchange rate stability to promote sustainable economic growth, safeguarding the livelihoods of Nigerians.






     

     

    Notably, a calendar of the MPC meeting for 2024 published on the CBN website indicates that the meetings have been scheduled for February, March, May, July, September, and November 2024.

    The ICIR reported that the delay in not having a monetary policy committee meeting is affecting key decisions in Nigeria.

    Economy observers say the CBN needs to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Finance to ensure proper realignment of the monetary and fiscal policies.

    “The monetary authorities cannot do it alone. The fiscal authorities need to support every effort of the monetary authorities to ensure the naira strengthens against the US dollar,” said the chief executive officer of the Financial Derivative, Bismarck Rewane.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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