Mr Godwin Emefele

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected over N8.8 trillion into the economy since the advent of COVID-19 in March last year.

CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele hinted this in Abuja at the end of the first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for the year, while cautioning against locking down the economy.

Mr Godwin Emefiele warned that another round of wholesome lockdown would be “catastrophic on everybody and the economy”.

According to him, N6.8 trillion credit facility was given to the Federal Government to boost the fight against COVID-19.

He said the apex bank committed additional N2 trillion to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

The CBN boss noted that despite the second wave of the pandemic, shutting down the economy must not be considered as a feasible option, saying that the economy would have wide-ranging negative impacts to the citizens.

Mr Emefiele explained that the apex bank had decided to extend by 12 months again the interest rate of five per cent on its intervention facilities.

According to him, at the end of the MPC meeting, the Committee urged the CBN to sustain its current drive to improve access to credit to the private sector while exploring other complementary initiatives, in collaboration with the Federal Government, to improve funding to critical sectors of the economy.

”The bank decided to retain all its policy parameters. By an unanimous vote, the Committee decided retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5 per cent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the Cash Reserve Ration (CRR) at 27.5 per cent; and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent” the CBN governor noted.

He defended the bank’s action, insisting that “the CBN is banker to government, second let it be known that the CBN is a lender of last resort not just to government but also even to our banks when they run into short term liquidity problems.”