CBN keeps benchmark rate and approves N798.09 billion for farmers

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele gives a press conference on the devaluation of the naira during a press briefing in Abuja on June 15, 2016. AFP / PHILIP OJISUA (Photo credit should read PHILIP OJISUA / AFP / Getty Images)

September 19 (THEWILL) – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) kept its benchmark rate at 11.5%, along with other key monetary policy parameters, as approved by its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC ). The governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, announced this Friday at the end of the meeting of the MPC which began on Thursday. The policy rate is the rate at which central banks lend to banks, which therefore determines the rate at which commercial banks lend money to businesses and individuals.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the two-day MPC meeting in Abuja, Emefiele said the committee voted to keep the key rate at 11.5%, with the corridor asymmetrically + 100 / -700 basis points around the MPR.

The committee also voted to keep the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 27.5 percent as well as the liquidity ratio at 30 percent.

The committee noted Nigeria’s impressive GDP growth of 5.01% in the second quarter and the deceleration of inflation which fell in August for the fifth consecutive month, and argued that maintaining the parameters will be a balance between stimulating growth and controlling inflation.

Mr Emefiele noted, however, that headline inflation remained above the CBN’s target range of 6-9%.

He noted the gradual recovery in economic output growth and hoped that the growth in the second quarter will be better.

Emefiele also announced that a sum of 798.09 billion naira had been paid to 3.9 million small farmers cultivating 4.9 million hectares of land across the country.

Of this amount for 2021 wet season agriculture, the Bank has released € 161.18 billion to 770,000 small farmers cultivating seven products on 1.10 million hectares across the country.

In the statement signed by CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, the Bank said that as the harvest for the 2020 dry season under the program comes to an end, harvesting activities have started for the crop of the season. wet 2021.

He explained that the CBN’s strategic corn reserve program has been helpful in moderating corn prices by directly targeting large feed producers.

“To support MSMEs across the country, the Bank disbursed N134.57 billion to 38,140 beneficiaries as part of the agribusiness / small and medium enterprise investment

(AGSMEIS) and for the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), the sum of 343.21 billion naira was paid to 726,198 beneficiaries, including 602,730 households and 123,468 small and medium enterprises ”.

“Under the Real Sector Facility, the Bank has released the sum of 1.00 trillion naira for 269 real sector projects, including 140 in light industry, 71 in agro-industry, 47 in services and 11 in mining. Under the Health Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF), 103.02 billion naira has been disbursed for 110 health projects, including 27 pharmaceutical projects, 77 hospitals and 6 other health service projects ” .

The Bank also informed that it had disbursed a total of 145.99 billion naira under its Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facility (NESF), just as it revised the guidelines, in collaboration with the Nigerian Export- Import Bank to improve access to intervention and stimulate growth of non-oil exports to Nigeria.

Under the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP), the Bank has declared that 41.06 billion naira has been disbursed to ten (10) DisCos, for the acquisition and installation of 759 7485 electricity meters. “.

Under the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilization Facility – 2 (NEMSF-2), the Bank also stated that it had released the sum of N145.66 billion to 11 DisCos in the form of loans for provide liquidity support and stimulate investment in critical infrastructure to improve service delivery and collection efficiency. .

As an extension of its intervention in the energy sector, the Bank said it has disbursed 39.20 billion naira to six beneficiaries to improve gas-based infrastructure to support the automatic gas conversion program. from the federal government.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) met on September 16-17, 2021, on a relatively heartwarming note of a moderate recovery in global output growth and improving global trade. Ten Committee members attended the meeting.

The performance of the global economy in the first two quarters of the year and in the third quarter remained favorable with a positive outlook for the remainder of the year.

According to the statement, in the national economy, output growth performance continued to improve, testifying to the positive impact of the unwavering fiscal and monetary support from the fiscal and monetary authorities to revive and sustain economic growth after the pandemic.

The governor of the CBN also explained why the Bank closed the account of Abokifx. He accused the website of collecting naira exchange rates on the black market and carrying out “illegal activity that undermines the economy.”

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said platform publisher Oniwinde Adedotun was involved in “illegal forex trading”.

The CBN has come under pressure in recent weeks following the fall in the value of the naira following the bank’s decision to halt sales of dollars to bureau de change operators a month ago.

The currency’s value fell to 570 on Friday, from less than 520 to the dollar before the ban. Most local newspapers rely on Abokifx for parallel market rates.

Speaking to reporters on Friday after the monetary policy committee meeting which began on Thursday, Emefiele said the umbrella bank had studied abokiFX’s activities over the past two years.

“There was a time when we would ask our colleagues to call abokiFX to ask how it handled rates,” he said.

He alleged that Mr Adedotun lived in the UK and published arbitrary rates without contacting the BDCs.

“He’s a Nigerian, living in England, we’ll follow him, Mr. Oniwinde, we’ll follow you.”

“We cannot allow you to continue killing our economy. ”

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