By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has in its last meeting for 2017, retained the Monetary Policy Rate(MPR) at 14.0 per cent alongside other policy parameters, a decision which it said has so far affected the economy positively.
It would be recalled that the MPR which is the anchor rate at which the CBN, in performing its role as lender of last resort, lends to Deposit Money Banks to boost the level of liquidity in the banking system, has been on 14 per cent since July 2016 alongside other policy parameters.
Addressing news men on Tuesday, The Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele noted that the Committee took note of the gains made so far as a result of its earlier decisions; including the stability in the foreign exchange market and the moderate reduction in inflation and thus extensively deliberated the options regarding whether to hold, tighten or ease the policy stance.
He further stated that on the argument to hold, the Committee expressed believe that key variables have continued to evolve in line with the current stance of macroeconomic policy and should be allowed to fully manifest.
According to him, “In consideration of the foregoing, the Committee decided by a vote of 8 to 1 to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14.0 per cent alongside all other policy parameters. One member voted to reduce the MPR by 100 basis points”.
Other policy parameters such as the Cash Reserve Ratio CRR remained at 22.5 per cent, Liquidity ratio at 30 per cent and the Asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.
While noting that overall, the economy has begun to show strong signs of recovery as public investment has picked up with increased housing construction at the Federal and state levels, as well as shipping activities at the ports, he said that the Committee however was of the view that policy makers must not relent in their aggressive policy initiatives aimed at continuing the positive growth trajectory.
He also said that the Committee reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining price stability, which is crucial to sustainable economic growth and development.
He further explained that“On financial stability, the committee noted the concentration of non-performing loans in some sectors but observed that the overall outlook for the banking system was stable as deposit money banks balance sheets remains strong.
“Nonetheless, committee called for strengthening of oversight and early warning systems in other to promptly identify vulnerabilities and proactively manage risks in the banking system”.
Responding to questionS from Press men on the sale of 9mobile previouy known as Etisalat, Emefiele said that the CBN would do all in its power to ensure smooth transfer of ownership to new investors.
“I am optimistic that the sale process is still on track, there is a determination that that sale must take place before Dec. 31,2017. We remain focused on it. There are rumors that Barclays Africa, the financial advisers wants to withdraw from the transaction. If Barclays decide to do so, they will do so in a letter.
“Barclays was hired in a letter and if they decide to withdraw, they will do so in form of a letter; but as I speak with you, there is no letter from Barclays,” he said.