• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Monetary policy rate hikes stabilised the economy — Cardoso

Monetary policy rate hikes stabilised the economy — Cardoso

Olayemi Cardoso, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has said that the Monetary Policy Committee’s hikes in interest rates were timely in stabilising the economy.

Speaking at the ongoing CEO Forum on the topic, ‘Revitalising Nigeria’s economy: strategic monetary policies for economic growth’ hosted by BusinessDay Media, he stated that the MPC is focused on taming the inflation rate and stabilising the naira.

Read also: Overcoming a depressed economy via Expansionary Monetary Policy ( EMP model)

He said, “The MPC is not oblivious to the fact that the country does need growth. If these hikes hadn’t been done at the time, the naira would have almost tipped over, so it helped to stabilise the Naira.

“Interest rates are not set by the CBN governor but by the MPC committee composed of independent-minded people. These are people not given to emotion but to data. The MPC clarified that the major issue is taming inflation, and they would do what is necessary to tame it.”

The Monetary Policy Committee has raised the MPR by a total of 650 basis points, bringing the rate to 26.25 percent in May 2024. According to the CBN governor, the hikes were necessary to soak up excess liquidity in the economy and will be short-lived, as the month-to-month inflation rate has already declined by 50 percent in 6 months, showing results.

“Sadly, we have a situation where ways and means soared to N27 trillion and interventions went to N10.5 trillion. Those have consequences. In a large respect, that’s what we’re paying for now. It is also a timely issue. It’s not something that I expect will remain with us forever. The ability to soak up the excess liquidity over time is also important to the MPC,” he said.

Speaking on the issue of FX Volatility, Cardoso stated that the bank had to correct some dysfunctions in the financial system, such as illicit flows and people not abiding by the rules, to ensure market stability.

Read also: Aku Odinkemelu, member, Monetary Policy Committee, CBN

“Sometimes, there’s pushback from those who want to continue doing things a certain way. There’s also that need to show people that there will be consistency in our ways before the market will settle,” he said.

He noted that timely communication and market transparency have restored stakeholders’ confidence.

“There is no more front-loading of FX requests. Even the portfolio investors who left came back again. They were comfortable that there was a plan and that the plan was headed in a certain direction. These dysfunctions are beginning to smooth out due to the confidence and transparency seen in the markets,” the CBN governor said.