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No MPC meeting, no problem — Emefiele lists six reasons why the economy remains strong

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says Nigeria’s exit from recession and the increasing price of crude oil in the international market are positive indicators of the rising strength of the country’s economy.

Emefiele said Nigerians and the international community have every reason to keep being optimistic about the economy.

This opinion was contained in a statement he issued on Monday in Abuja, explaining why the first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) for the year, fixed for Monday and Tuesday, was cancelled.

Other indicators, according to Emefiele, are the decline in inflation rate to 15.37 per cent and the increase in foreign exchange reserves, which now stands at $40.78 billion.

Emefiele said the positive indicators had boosted investor confidence in the country, attracting about $13 billion through the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window opened by the CBN in 2017.

“We have also seen Market Capitalisation of our Stock Exchange improve by 22.3 per cent from N13.21 trillion on Nov. 30, 2017 to N16.15 trillion as at Jan. 19, 2018.

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“Also, the All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 18.8 per cent from 37,944.60 to 45,092.83 over the same period,” he said.

Emefiele explained that the MPC meeting was called off in adherence to the provisions of the CBN Act, which stipulates that the MPC shall meet at least four times in a year and that the quorum shall be six members; two of whom shall be the Governor and a Deputy Governor or two Deputy Governors.

According to Emefiele, the Senate is yet to screen and confirm the MPC nominees appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2017.

As a result, Emefiele said the CBN would maintain the key monetary variables as decided in the last MPC meeting of November 2017.

The Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) was retained at 14 per cent, CRR at 22.5 per cent, Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent and the Asymmetric Corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

A new schedule for the MPC meeting will be made known to the concerned stakeholders as soon as the statutory requirements are met, Emefiele stated.

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