MPC May Keep Interest Rate High, Says Cardoso

MPC May Keep Interest Rate High, Says Cardoso
Cardoso

 

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Olayemi Cardoso, has said that the members of the Monetary Policy Committee would do whatever is necessary to tame the country’s high inflation.

Cardoso said this in an interview with the Financial Times on Monday, indicating that interest rates would stay high for as long as necessary to tackle inflation.

He noted that there was “every indication” that the MPC would “do whatever is necessary” to keep soaring inflation in check.

“They will continue to do what has to be done to ensure that inflation comes down,” Cardoso said.

The CBN’s hawkish stance on inflation became obvious from the first MPC meeting held in February when the committee raised the benchmark lending rate by 400 basis points to 22.75 per cent, from 18.75 per cent and reviewed upward to 24.75 per cent in March.

Financial analysts had projected the MPC further hike rates, as inflation remained stubborn.

The next MPC meeting is scheduled to be held on May 20-21.

Analysts at Meristem Securities projected an uptick in the headline inflation for April to 34.43 per cent year-on-year (vs. 33.20 per cent YoY reported in March 2024).

Despite the current CBN’s hawkish stance, Cardoso said he hoped that high rates would not be for too long and discourage investment and production.

“Hiking interest rates obviously has had a dampening effect on the foreign exchange market, so that has begun to moderate. It’s not a zero-sum game. You lose on one side, you get on the other,” he said.

On fluctuations in the naira in recent times, Cardoso stated that investors, who were likely to exit the economy in response to currency fluctuations, were now more comfortable with the market.

He added that the apex bank was going to return to orthodox monetary policies, saying, “Let’s face it: for a long period, the CBN did not embrace orthodox monetary policies. We want to go back to using an orthodox method, and it will take us to where we want to go.”

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