Nigeria central bank raises rates by 100 bps despite inflation dip - REUTERS
JANUARY 24, 2023
By Chijioke Ohuocha and Camillus Eboh
ABUJA, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Nigeria's central bank raised its benchmark lending rate by 100 basis points (bps) to 17.5% (NGCBIR=ECI) in a decision announced on Tuesday.
The central bank's decision came after inflation dipped for the first time in 11 months in December.
But Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele said members of the monetary policy committee did not think the decline was big enough to justify either holding or cutting the rate.
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"For us it is not time to celebrate yet," Emefiele told a news conference.
Some analysts had expected the central bank to hold rates steady, after it raised them by 500 basis points last year to combat rising inflation.
The bank has been trying to strike a balance by reining in inflation without choking off lending to the private sector, which could tip the economy into recession ahead of an election next month.
The rising cost of living, weak economic growth and mounting insecurity are major issues for voters who will choose a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, who has served the maximum of two terms allowed by the constitution.
Additional reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe Editing by Alexander Winning and Estelle Shirbon