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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reiterated its commitment to addressing the nation’s rising inflation through continued interest rate hikes. Governor Olayemi Cardoso, in a recent interview with the Financial Times, assured that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is dedicated to implementing necessary measures to stabilize the economy.

Cardoso emphasized a strategic return to orthodox monetary policies, aiming to bring stability to Nigeria’s financial system. “For a long period, the CBN did not embrace orthodox monetary policies. We want to go back to using an orthodox method, and it will take us to where we want to go,” he explained. This shift is expected to create a more predictable environment for investors and help mitigate the naira’s volatility.

The central bank’s recent rate hikes have started to influence the foreign exchange market, though the naira continues to face pressure. As the MPC’s next meeting approaches on May 20-21, financial experts anticipate further rate increases. Analysts from Meristem Securities project that April’s headline inflation will rise to 34.43% year-on-year, up from 33.20% in March.

Despite the CBN’s stringent measures, inflation remains a significant challenge. CAPE Economic Research and Consulting forecasts continued increases in headline, food, and core inflation rates, driven by rising food prices, exchange rate fluctuations, and higher housing and utility costs. Their predictions for April indicate inflation could reach 33.69%, 40.51%, and 26.54% respectively for these categories.

Governor Cardoso expressed hope that the high interest rates will not be prolonged, aiming for a balance between controlling inflation and supporting economic growth. He acknowledged the complexities of the situation, noting, “It’s not a zero-sum game. You lose on one side, you get on the other.”

As the MPC prepares for its upcoming meeting, the focus remains on the CBN’s strategies to manage inflation and stabilize the economy. The decisions made in the coming weeks will be crucial for Nigeria’s economic trajectory. Stakeholders are closely monitoring the situation, anticipating measures that will foster stability and growth in the West African nation.

Photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

17th May, 2024

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