The monetary policy committee provided policy parameters at the first meeting for the 2019 fiscal year, held on 21st and 22nd January, 20191. As presumed, all parameters were left unchanged at their current levels: MPR at 14 percent, CRR at 22.5 percent, liquidity ratio at 30 percent, and asymmetric corridor of +200/-500 basis points around the MPR. This is the 14th consecutive time the MPC will retain all parameters, and the apex bank is justifying its stance by insisting that the economy has remained on a noteworthy track based on prevailing positive macroeconomic performances2. The committee’s optimistic outlook is likely hinged on, among other laudable achievements, the acclaimed return of foreign investors’ confidence and convergence of the foreign exchange market – the CBN has relentlessly upheld the value of the Naira despite perceptions of election risks on exchange rates. In the coming months, changes in monetary policy parameters will, however, depend on the macroeconomic performance after the elections as well as the objective to hit the CBN’s inflation target of 6 to 9 percent.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
The naira depreciated by 4.3 percent to a record low of N313/$ at the interbank market segment on July 29, 2016.Precisely, the lack of liquidity in all FX market segments continues to weaken the naira. In order to increase FOREX liquidity, moderate inflationary pressures, encourage capital inflows and support the naira, the CBN may need to increase the supply of FOREX in the interbank market while simultaneously mopping up idle funds through the sale of securities.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) slightly revised upward growth projections for SubSaharan Africa by 0.1 percentage point in 2017 but retained growth estimates for 2018.1 Precisely, growth estimate in the region was increased from 2.6 percent in April 2017 forecast to 2.7 percent in July 2017 forecast, while it was retained at 3.5 percent for 2018. The slight upward revision in 2017 is attributable to an upgrade in South Africas growth prospect from 0.8 percent in April 2017 to 1.0 percent in July 2017. Despite the upward 2017 revision, 2018 forecast for South Africa was revised down from 1.6 percent in April 2017 to 1.2 percent in July 2017. Growth forecast for Nigeria remained unchanged at 0.8 percent and 1.9 percent for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
This brief examines two policy alternatives which government can adopt in order to increase the enrollment of girls in the primary school and also help eliminate gender disparity in Nigerian schools: Provide free primary education with Stipends or provide free primary education with Transportation.