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CBN’s Policies Impacted Inflation, Weakened Naira

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Khalifa Muhammadu Sanusi II, expressed his concern over the inflationary pressure in Nigeria, attributing it to the apex bank’s significant lending to the federal government through Ways and Means during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sanusi II highlighted that the CBN‘s loan to the federal government had reached N22.7 trillion, which had impacted inflation and weakened the value of the Naira.

The 14th Emir of Kano and leader of the Tijjaniyya Order in Nigeria also said the central bank had embarked on aggressive monetary tightening through various liquidity control instruments, including open market operations, Open Buy Back (OBB) and high T-bills rates, an indication that the bank was sticking to its core mandate of financial systems stability and inflation control.

READ ALSO: How CBN can strengthen naira, increase foreign reserve, by Adefolarin A. Olamilekan

“I am optimistic, especially in the short term. We’ve had eight years of rapid expansion of the central bank’s balance sheet through ways and means.

“And that has fueled inflation and weakened the currency. And that is the fact,” Sanusi II said yesterday at MTN Capital Markets Day, an event organised by MTN Group to provide updates and insights to the financial community, including investors, analysts, and stakeholders.

Acknowledging that the central bank can use different instruments to mop up excess money in circulation, Sanusi said it needs to do it in a manner that minimizes the cost to both the central bank and the government’s balance sheet, and that’s why it has to rely a little more on non-conventional instruments.

“If you look at OMO Bills and OBB rates in the last few weeks, I can see that the central bank has started a process of aggressive tightening. OBB rates are beginning to approach what they should be.

“And I think that’s what the market needs to look at; that the central bank is taking this role of tightening money and fighting inflation as a primary focus,” he stated at the event.

He urged the audience to show understanding with the fact that those new monetary policies take time to manifest.

“For the short term, I don’t think we have a problem. I think the central bank is doing the right thing – tightening money, clearing the backlog, trying to fund the market, and I think we will have stability.”

Earlier, CBN’s director in charge of the research department, Dr Omolara Duke, who represented Cardoso at the event said:

“The Ways and Means will no longer be more than five percent, going forward. The period for the government to access Ways and Means is over.”

She also disclosed that the central bank is looking at how to drive down the cost of remittances to increase the inflow and move them away from the informal sector into the formal.

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Nigeria oil production drops to 1.231m barrels per day- OPEC

OPEC: Russia-Ukraine war causing volatility in global energy market

Nigeria’s crude oil production suffered its second consecutive monthly decline since the beginning of this year, as it dropped to 1.231 million barrels per day in March, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has revealed.

OPEC disclosed this in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report for April 2024, stating that crude oil production details which it got through direct communication from Nigeria showed that the country pumped less oil in March compared to February.

Data from the report indicated that Nigeria produced 1.322 million barrels per day of crude in February this year, but this dropped to 1.231mbpd in March, representing a plunge of 91mbpd.

The report further added that the country had produced 1.427mbpd of crude in January, but this was not sustained in February as it dropped in that month, while the southward oil production continued in March.

However, OPEC data showed that Nigeria’s average crude oil production in the first quarter of 2024 was 1.327mbpd, higher than the 1.313mbpd average oil production in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Nigeria’s first quarter oil output in 2024 was also higher than the 1.201mbpd average production in the third quarter of 2023.

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Emirates Airlines to resume Nigeria flights soon – Keyamo

Emirates, UAE, has concluded plans to resume flights with Nigeria.

This followed numerous visits from President Bola Tinubu to UAE over the communication breakdown between both countries.

Featuring on Arise Television on Monday, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, said the Emirates Airline had already indicated its readiness in a letter sent to the Nigerian Government.

Keyamo explained that what transpired during the earlier visit and resolution was not fake but was presented in a ‘hasty’ manner.

He said: “Emirates flight resumption is almost happening. I just received a letter from Emirates. The letter is on my phone now. They have gone through all the gamut and they are ready to come back. They will announce the date because to restart a route, they must get an aircraft for that route.

“I am announcing to Nigerians for the first time; that I just received a letter from Emirates now. The letter is with me. I have a hard copy thanking you for all the efforts we made. Mr President was the showman here. He was the one who pushed for it. He made my job easy because he went there, and had a diplomatic shuttle to resolve all the issues.

“That was why I said the last announcement was hasty and not fake news.

“They will announce the date for their next flight. We have received a letter confirming that all the issues have been resolved and prepared to start coming back. It may be before June.”

Apart from Emirates suspending flights to Nigeria, in 2022, the UAE Immigration Department notified its trade partners and travel agencies that it was stopping visa applications from 22 countries, 20 of which are African nations.

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CICB records 63% revenue growth in 2023

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, says it recorded a 63.60 per cent growth of operating revenue, which stood at N1.37 billion in 2023, marking a significant increase from the N837.94 million recorded in 2022.

CIBN’s president, Ken Opara, disclosed this on Saturday in Lagos.

Opara added that the cost-to-income ratio for the year ended December 31, 2023, stood at 50.72 per cent, down from 59.41 per cent in the corresponding period in 2022.

“I am particularly delighted that our institute continued to wax stronger financially, notwithstanding the economic downturns and headwinds in 2023.

“It is on record that our institute, for the first time, crossed the one billion Naira mark by achieving a Net Operating Surplus of N1.371 billion in 2023 when compared with N837.943 million achieved in 2022, representing a growth of 63.60 per cent.

“Similarly, total revenue grew from N2.065 billion recorded in 2022 to N2.782 billion in 2023, representing 34.72 per cent growth, while total assets grew from N7.821 billion in 2022 to N9.119 billion in 2023.

“The cost-to-income ratio for the year ended December 31, 2023, stood at 50.72 per cent, down from 59.41 per cent in the corresponding period in 2022. This ratio is way below the approved Governing Council threshold of 61 per cent for the 2023 financial year.

“I am persuaded that with prudent and efficient management of resources, as well as diligent execution of our strategic plan, our institute will sustain this northward trajectory,” he said.

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