The Central Bank of Nigeria Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Tuesday retained its policy rate at 13%. The liquidity ratio was left at 30%.
The naira has, however, depreciated to N189.20 to the dollar and fears of inflation are real due to collapsing oil prices.
CBN governor Godwin Emefiele said the naira was “appropriately priced” and that the bank would not tolerate speculative attacks on it. The foreign reserves could take eight months of imports, he noted.
Financial analysts have faulted the CBN for not considering the naira’s devaluation last November (from N155 to N168 per dollar) and the currency’s continued depreciation while taking the decisions. The current efforts, they said, mean continued subsidising of imports as well as encouragement of currency speculators who take advantage of the difference between the official and black market rates.
Mr Emefiele, apparently aware of such criticisms, has allayed fears about the economy. Its growth performance looks good, he said, despite security challenges and their effects on farming.