New CBN Governor to Start Cutting Interest Rates, Says His Role Will Be ‘Apolitical’

New central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele said on today he would pursue a gradual reduction in interest rates, an apparent reversal of his predecessor’s hawkish monetary policy that was credited with bringing inflation down to single digits.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Godwin Emifiele said policy would be aimed at seeking a reduction in overall lending rates to make it cheaper to invest.
Interest rates have been stuck at 12 percent since late 2011, and several measures have been made to tighten liquidity, which has been credited with gradually bringing inflation down, but businesses complain that lending rates are too punitive.
“There is no doubt that reducing interest rates and maintaining exchange rates are very daunting twin goals,” Emifiele said. “However the central bank will work assiduously to ensure that these goals are mutually achieved.”
The core of his vision was zero tolerance to practices that undermine financial stability, he said at his first press conference since taking over on Tuesday from Lamido Sanusi, whom President Goodluck Jonathan suspended in February.
Emifiele also announced that all charges on deposits of customers at banks are abolished with immediate effect.
Sanusi, a staunch anti-corruption campaigner, was accused of using his position as a pulpit from which to chastise the government for graft.
Jonathan removed him as he was presenting evidence to parliament that some $20 billion owed to the federation account by the state oil firm had not been remitted.
Emifiele promised that his role would be “apolitical”.
Source: Reuters

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