Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Tuesday, announced plans to begin monthly reviews of loan-to-deposit ratios of the country’s banks as part of a bid to increase lending and stimulate economic growth.
Reuters quoted him as telling newsmen at the end of the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, “after 30 September we are going to begin month-by-month monitoring and then prescription of loan deposit ratio for the banks.”
The CBN has also told banks they must lend more or face higher cash reserve requirements and barred banks from buying bills for their own accounts at an open market auction.
He also announced plans to increase the list of items whose importers are barred from accessing the official foreign exchange window to 43 with the planned addition of milk, though he did not say when that restriction would come into force.
“We believe that milk is one of those products that can be produced in Nigeria today,” said Emefiele.
“Today the import of milk annually stands at $1.2bn to $1.5bn. That is a very high import product into the country,” he said.
Emefiele reiterated the bank’s goal to cut annual inflation, which stood at 11.22% in June, to single digits.
And he said the bank was “not going to be in a hurry to moderate or bring down” the benchmark interest rate.