October 27, 2020

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 39)

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) voted to reduce the Monetary Policy Rate by 100 basis points, from 12.5 percent to 11.5 percent.ยน Other decisions taken by the MPC includes the retention of Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 percent and retaining the liquidity ratio at 30 percent. These decisions were made in support of driving price stability and output growth. The MPC aims to use these policies to help reduce cost of capital in order for businesses to be able to afford loans. While the reduction in the MPR is expected to reflect in the interest rate of commercial banks, the banking sector may not be well-positioned to provide affordable loans. Considering that loans and advances to the oil sector accounts for about 30 percent of the risk assets in the banking industry, the disruption in the oil sector is likely to affect the ability of these companies to service their loans. Furthermore, banks are already being encouraged to offer debt moratorium by restructuring existing loans combined with the already high cash reserve ratio, making it difficult for them to make loans available. As such, revisions to CRR should be considered at the next MPC meeting.

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Nigeria Economic Review

Global economic growth remained fairly stable in 2016Q3 with baseline projections for global growth at 3.1 percent and 2.4 percent by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank respectively. Growth in developed countries was moderate but unevenly distributed: while the U.S and the UK showed improvements, growth in other economies remained tepid. Among emerging countries, India witnessed higher growth while growth in China remained constant but the Chinese Yuan continued to appreciate. Given that India is Nigerias major crude oil importer, improving economic conditions in India may translate into rising demand for Nigerias crude oil. However, the continuous appreciation of the Yuan poses significant inflationary threat in Nigeria given the high level of imports from China. Subdued global demand, weak trade, uncertainties in commodity prices and consequences of the Brexit were the key constraining factors to growth over the period. In addition, growth in Sub-Saharan African countries remained generally slow on the account of low commodity price, political turmoil, and inconsistent government policies.