Toba Owojaiye reporting
Amidst the backdrop of surging inflation and a weakening naira, Nigerians face heightened economic anxiety as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) postpones its bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for the second consecutive time. Initially attributed to leadership changes, the September and November meetings’ deferral raises concerns over the lack of critical policy decisions amidst economic challenges.
October witnessed a persistent rise in inflation to 27.33%, coupled with the ongoing depreciation of the naira. Despite these alarming indicators, the absence of an official statement from the CBN regarding the postponement leaves financial analysts, investors, and economic stakeholders in the dark.
TruthLive News reports that experts and industry figures express worries about the prolonged delay, emphasizing potential adverse impacts on investment decisions, increased uncertainty, and heightened economic risks. Dr. Muda Yusuf, CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Public Enterprise (CPPE), underscores the need for clear communication on the postponement, emphasizing the significant influence of MPC outcomes on both domestic and international investment decisions.
While some, like Prof. Uche Uwaleke, view the postponement as potentially beneficial, suggesting it might prevent an interest rate increase with potential negative effects on business costs, others, such as Mallam Garba Kurfi, express concern over the delay. Kurfi emphasizes the crucial role of monetary policy in addressing inflation and currency devaluation.
Eze Onyekpere, Lead Director of the Centre for Social Justice, raises a red flag about the absence of regular MPC meetings challenging transparency and decision-making inclusiveness. He points out potential risks to effective management of inflation, exchange rate stability, and transmission of monetary policy decisions to the real economy.
As economic uncertainty prevails, stakeholders eagerly await clarity on the rescheduled MPC meeting date and anticipate insights into the CBN’s policy directions under the leadership of Governor Yemi Cardoso. The economy urgently requires measures to curb rising inflation and achieve a clear milestone on the gains of the new administration.