Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, gave an indication of delaying the bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting till April after the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive resolved the issue of nominations for its MPC.
Emefiele said the meeting scheduled for March 19-20 would be delayed by about seven to 10 days, or at the latest until the first week of April.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, early in the week, hinted that the upper chamber was due to consider a report on the nomination into the MPC, in a move aimed at ending the impasse that has stymied policy decisions.
The Senate has held up some of Buhari’s nominees for the committee in a dispute, which has left it unable to form a quorum to set interest rates since the start of the year. The bank cancelled its first MPC meeting in January and left interest rates on hold at 14 per cent, a level where it has kept them for over a year to support the naira and curb inflation.
“The MPC will certainly hold by latest the first week in April,” Emefiele said.
Buhari has nominated a central bank director, Edward Adamu, as deputy governor, to replace Sulaiman Barau, who retired in December. But Adamu and others are yet to be screened by the National Assembly.
Consequently, the MPC has just four members now, out of 12 positions, a situation that made them not to form a quorum at meetings. At least, six members are needed to approve an interest rate decision.
Emefiele said Nigeria’s foreign reserves were rising again and that the exchange rate was stable, with inflation trending downwards, a positive sign for the economy.