As expected, the Monetary Policy Committee left the policy interest rate (MPR) and other parameters unchanged. At 14 percent, the MPR has been left unchanged for the 10th consecutive period1; likewise the CRR at 22.5 percent, Liquidity Ratio at 30.0 percent; and Asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR. All except one member of the MPC agreed to keep rates on hold, mainly in anticipation of a more precise direction of key macroeconomic indicators, including the passage and implementation of the 2018 budget. Complementary factors considered for the hold also points to the current moderation in inflation rate towards single digit, as well as higher reserve levels
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
The naira/dollar exchange rate remained largely stable at the parallel market at ?320/$ during the period7, albeit slight fluctuations on February 29, 2016 (?325/$) and March 2, 2016 (?328/$). The decline in the hoarding of foreign currency as well as the substantial reduction in the speculative demand for dollars were the two key factors responsible for the ease of fluctuations in the forex market8. With the slight increase in the price of crude oil, Nigerias foreign reserve slightly grew by $56 million, from 27.81 billion to $27.84 billion9. With the continued increase in the price of crude oil, a modest build-up of foreign reserve to guard against unfavourable commodity price movements is expected in the near term.
This brief examines the beneficiaries of government expenditure in the social sectors of education and health, and answers the question of equity in the provision of social services among different income groups.