I’m Optimistic About MPC Meeting, Economic Outlook, Says Okorafor

Ahead of next week’s maiden meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, its Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, on Tuesday said he is optimistic that the members will live up to expectation.
Okorafor, who also urged Nigerians to be upbeat about the economic outlook for 2018, notwithstanding the delay in holding the rates meeting in third week of January and March as is the tradition, assured that the CBN remains people-centred.
The MPC meeting slated for April 3 and 4, 2018, he assured, will add fillip to the monetary policy activities of the apex bank.
The meeting was delayed following the failure of the Nigerian Senate to approve the nomination of two deputy governors of the CBN and four members of the MPC, over face-off between the National Assembly and the Presidency owing to the non-confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the second time. This has resulted in Magu continuing in acting capacity, with the legislators deciding to withhold all other screening and confirmation of appointments until national interest prevailed, leading to the recent screening and approval of Mrs. Aisha Ahmad and Edward Adamu as deputy governors, while Prof. Adeola Festus Adenikinju; Dr. Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi and Dr. Robert Chikwendu Asogwa, while Dr. Asheikh Maidugu was however rejected as external members of the MPC.
Meanwhile, keen on sustaining the gains of the continued intervention in the nation’s foreign exchange market, particularly stability of the Naira against major currencies of the world, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, boosted the inter-bank sector with $210m.
A breakdown of the figure showed that the Wholesale sector got $100m, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles sectors were each offered $55m.
A statement by the apex bank quoted its as saying the interventions were in continuation of the CBN’s commitment also enhancing production and trade in the country.
He said the monetary regulator was pleased with the cooperation by players in the inter-bank market, following which he noted there has been a great deal of stability and seamless access of customers to foreign exchange following regular interventions by the CBN.
It will be recalled that the CBN had last Friday, March 23, 2018, sustained its intervention in the Forex market by injecting the sum of $339.89 million in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).
Also on Tuesday, the Naira exchanged at N360/$1 in the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the market.