The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Tuesday rose from it’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday with a decision to keep its benchmark interest rate at 11 percent and leave the naira exchange rate fixed despite a dive on the parallel market.
Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele announced there had been no changes to the official naira rate to the dollar which has come under tremendous pressure due to a drying up of vital oil revenues, Nigeria’s lifeline.
He said the 12 members of the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep the rate unchanged. The bank also held the cash reserve ratio for commercial banks at 20 percent.
“The committee reiterated its unyielding commitment towards achieving a stable exchange rate regime to ensure more flexibility for sustainable inclusive economic growth in the medium to long term,” he said.
He added that Nigeria was looking at “different scenarios” if the oil price dropped further but did not elaborate.
Emefiele also defended controversial import restrictions for hundreds of goods aimed at preserving the dwindling currency reserves. He said sales for locally produced food such as fish have been rising. “It has been positive,” he said.