JUST IN: Higher Interest Rate Likely As Cardoso Maintains Hawkish Stance 

Higher Interest Rate Likely As Cardoso Maintains Hawkish Stance 

Higher Likely As Cardoso Maintains Hawkish Stance 

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The () is billed to hold its second meeting for the year next week and there are indications that the benchmark interest rate would further be hiked as the Governor of the Central of Nigeria (), Dr , voted for the highest increase in rates at the last meeting.

The decision at the February meeting which was the very first to be conducted by Cardoso since his appointment in September last year, is a move away from the desire of President Bola Ahmed that interest rate be reduced to allow small businesses increased access to cheap funding.

Cardoso, in his statement at the last , had voted to increase the benchmark interest rate to 23 per cent as against the 22.5 per cent that many of the MPC members voted for, the highest rate thus voted at the meeting.

His basis for increasing rate is to curb the spiraling inflation in the country and further drive investments in the country. Inflation rate in the country which has refused to abate had spiked to 31.7 per cent in February further giving reasons for a hawkish monetary policy.

 

The had noted that the post-COVID-19 fiscal support and subsequent deficit financing have created a lax financial environment, culminating in surplus liquidity within the banking system.

 

“This surplus liquidity has not only directly fueled inflation but also intensified pressure on the due to heightened demand for foreign currency as an alternative store of value.

 

“It is imperative to deploy monetary policy tools to mitigate these pressures and foster price stability. Adopting a tighter monetary stance will steer us towards achieving positive real interest rates, a crucial goal to stimulate savings and investment within the domestic economy. This strategic move also holds the potential to attract the capital inflows necessary to enhance liquidity in the foreign exchange market and bolster the currency in the immediate term,” he stated.

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