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CBN retains lending rate at 13.5 %, urged banks to embrace consumer/ mortgage credits

CBN set draw economic roadmap for Buhari’s second tenure

COMFORT EKELEME

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tuesday rose from its two- day meeting in Abuja with the decision to leave the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5 per cent.

According to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, nine out of the 11 members that attended the meeting agreed to retain the current monetary policy stance.

He said apart from the MPR that was retained at 13.5 per cent, the committee decided to hold the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 per cent.

Also retained are the Liquidity Ratio which was left at 30 per cent; and the Asymmetric Window which was left at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

This is even as the apex bank noted that consumer and mortgage credits are catalysts of economic development, which commercial banks must embrace to spur economic growth.

Emefiele, noted that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) must ensure they lend to the private sector which is the engine of growth of any economy, adding that the apex bank will limit commercial banks from buying unlimited government securities. This is even as he noted that banks are catalysts for providing credits to private sector.

Emefiele however, said that the CBN will roll out administrative, regulatory and legal framework for resolving debts arising from Non Performing Loans (NPLs) in banks currently, which is put at between nine and ten per cent.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate for his reappointment, the CBN boss said the government must fight insecurity to enable farmers return to their farms, stressing that there was a correlation between improved economy and improved employment.

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