The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday, retained Monetary Policy Rates (MPR) at 11.5 per cent despite growing inflationary pressure in the economy.
The Committee also kept asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR, Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR} at 27.5 per cent, while Liquidity Ratio was also kept at 30 per cent.
Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 15.7 per cent in February 2022, largely attributed to the uptick in core inflation from 13.87 per centrecorded in January 2022 to 14.01 per cent in the review month. The rise of the core inflation was due to the surge in energy prices, which was exacerbated by the electricity blackout across the country.
Briefing journalists immediately after the 141th MPC meeting in Abuja, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, suggested that inflation is expected to be on the rise, on the back of continuous rise in energy prices and could only be contained if the Russia-Ukraine war can be addressed as soon as possible.
Emefiele said: The Committee noted the impact that the global price increase in and other products is having practically on all economies.
“The MPC also noted that this has resulted in imported inflation on the Nigerian economy and believes that specific actions need to be taken to ensure that this trend does not continue given the adverse consequences and aggressive rising price level could have on the cost of living and purchasing power of Nigerians.
“Although MPC is relieved that food inflation declined marginally due to good harvest, with some scarcity expected as we approach the planting season, the Committee is optimistic that with the high level of strategic grain reserves of the CBN, it is relieved that food prices would remain relatively moderated.
“While growth has continued to improve, members noted that inflation was confronted with upward pressure due to emerging risks within the domestic and external environment.
“The MPC, however, noted that the substantial upward push to price levels continued to be influenced by supply persisting insecurity and side factors such as the scarcity of PMS, persisting insecurity and backlash from the Russia-Ukraine war. These require a careful and focused policy intervention to address and resolve.
“The Committee decided to adopt a hold stance as it would indicate a precautionary and consistent policy stance with the prevailing economic conditions particularly as further economic and financial shocks are exerted from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war”.
On the lingering fuel scarcity, Emefiele, blamed the high energy prices been experienced in the country on the Russia-Ukraine was and disclosed that the management of the CBN would soon meet with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning to work out necessary steps to address the petroleum product supply problems.
“The MPC is worried about global shortage of petroleum products. This has led to inflation. MPC is seeking ways to address this. “Nigeria exports crude oil and imports refined and this means we have to pay for imports. The committee noted the reduction in foreign reserves. The committee is also worried about oil theft and its effects on the economy. But we’re hopeful that the coming into operations of Dangote Refinery will help in ensuring fuel availability. The coming into operations of the entire Dangote complex will save Nigeria 30 per cent of the cost of importing the items produced in the complex.
“We were told that the Finance Ministry and NNPC are holding a meeting on the scarcity challenge. We too will be engaging the NNPC as well to see ways of making it easy for them to end fuel shortage which has led to arbitrary pricing.
“The rising price of diesel has led to poor electricity. We are working to put things under control,” Emefiele said.
Breaking: DSS arrests Doyin Okupe at Lagos airport
The immediate past Director-General of the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe, has reportedly been arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
It was gathered that Okupe was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos State, while on his way to London, the United Kingdom.
According to one of Okupe’s lawyers, Tolu Babaleye who spoke on the subject matter, on Thursday, said the DSS asked him to provide court processes where he paid the fine option following his money laundering conviction by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
When contacted on the report of Okupe’s arrest, Dr Peter Afunanya, DSS Public Relations Officer confirmed that the former Director-General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council was intercepted by the DSS at Terminal 1 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
“Doyin Okupe was intercepted by the DSS at Terminal 1 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos this morning at the instance of the EFCC.
“He has long been handed over to the Commisson which requested for the action. “Okupe was billed to fly to London via Virgin Atlantic” He said.
WE ARE AWARE OF PLANS TO SMEAR THE NAME OF OUR DG AND KEY OFFICIALS OF THE SERVICE – DSS SAYS.
The Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday said the service has uncovered plans by some politicians and disgruntled elements within and outside the government to sponsor smear campaigns against the DGSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi and his key officials over the Service’s uncompromising stance on some critical governance and policy issues.
Public Relations Officer of the service, Peter Afunanya in a statement says, those behind the plot have engaged Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organisations to not only sustain but stage further rallies, road-shows and press conferences and use the occasions to discredit Bichi.
The statement further added that sections of the media have been briefed to implement the strategy through sponsored articles, commentaries and features to malign the DG, his family and select officials of the Service.
” The Service is monitoring developments and will allow the plotters to either exhaust themselves or rescind the plan of action. Otherwise, no amount of intimidation, harassment and blackmail will deter it from discharging its duties. However, it would not idly watch a group of dissatisfied gang to undermine the Service and its highly dedicated Leadership and Management.” Afunanya stated.
The DSS, therefore, wishes to inform the public to be wary of these tendencies and ignore the antics of dark forces out to impugn the character of the DG. It restates its unalloyed support to the President on his resolve to continue to confront head-on, threats to national security as well as create the enabling environment necessary for the 2023 general elections to hold.
INSECURITY: Those Fighting Me in Imo State Knows We Have Done Well – Hope Uzodinma
Imo state governor Hope Uzodinma says those fighting him in his home state knows he has done well but only llookin for whom to blame as a way of de-marketing him.
Briefing State House Correspondents After a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja,
The former senator said no one has accused him or his administration of corruption
In his words, ” Those who are fighting me in my state are not saying we’re not working, they are not saying we are not developing the place, they are not accusing us of corruption. All they are saying is that they are contriving, instigating insecurity out of desperation, and then blaming the security on my government.”
“I’ve seen at the sub national that critical security measures are managed and controlled by the federal government. So I cannot be blamed for insecurity, because you cannot single out imo state. National security is about the 36 states of the Federation and FCT inclusive.
“So, I think we’ve done so well. And I’m happy by the grace of God, as soon as we’re able to bring the security to naught, we’ll have an environment that we will all celebrate and be happy with.
“During this season, we had relative peace in imo state, and Christmas is a very critical period for us and the new year is also very critical. And apart from a few scratches in the hinterland we are on top of the security situation now in Imo state.”
Speaking on his mission to the seat of Power, Uzodinma said he had come to see President Buhari in order to appeal to him to approve technology deployment to enable the region deal effectively with the rising cases of insecurity and other violent Crimes which the President has agreed to.
According to him, ” with the president’s approval, advanced surveillance equipment will soon be delivered to the region that will enhance the fight against insecurity without collateral damage.”
He said he was also at the Presidential Villa to thanked the president for what he has done for the region including the recent conversion of the Federal Medical Center Owerri to a university teaching hospital for the Federal University of Technology, and the approval that converted Alvan Ikoku College of Education to a federal college of education.
“The approval to convert Federal Medical Center Owerri to a university teaching hospital for the Federal University of Technology, the approval that converted Alvan Ikoku College of Education to a federal college of education amongst other things is something to be proud of in the region.
” Only two weeks ago, Igbos that came home from Lagos and outside South East enjoyed the benefit of the second Niger Bridge something that is worthy of of commendation.
“I also appealed to him for further support, to support us with some technological deployments, we have planned to be able to do an advanced kind of security control in the South East. And he has also given his approval to that.
“And any moment from now, we’ll be getting some surveillance equipment and some modern technologies that will help us manage security so that we can fight crime with little or no collateral damage to the environment.”
On assurance for Imo State in the New Year, he stated: “Well, my people are enthusiastic and committed Nigerians and we believe in the unity of the country. And we believe that for us to grow as a people, we need the support and cooperation of federal government, and that I’ve always stood for. So, going forward, I know 2023 will be better than 2022. And the level of development, we witnessed from 2020 to 2022 will be improved upon.
“ my people have seen a lot of thing. If you go to South East, in imo State for instance, we got approval of Mr. President, that has now enabling the government imo partnering with the Nigerian navy to dredge oguta river to orashi River to the sea, that is opening up that maritime route, then if there is a naval base, that we will now manage and control, pipelines vandalism, crude oil theft, and all forms of criminality that besieged that area for a very long time. And the crime is has gone down tremendously, since the Navel base was established.
“So I think we have hope for a better Nigeria. The road that we just completed that was commissioned by Mr president, the Owerri to orlu, dualised expressway, Mr President has approved that imo state government be refunded.
“The good news is every day I come to Mr president, one positive approval or the other. So our people are happy, we’re committed, we’re happy, we have never had it so good. that is why I continue to tell you, that the party to beat in my state is APC” He concluded .
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