The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) led monetary policy committee has raised interest rate by another 100 basis points from 15.5% to 16.5%, the apex bank disclosed on Tuesday.
Godwin Emefiele, the central bank Governor, who chaired the meeting, said the decision was to ease escalating inflation rate and sustain gains recorded in recent months.
According to him, given that all the causative factors like rising inflation in advanced economies, slowing China growth, disruptions in the global supply chain, ongoing war in Ukraine and other dominant headwinds, loosen option was not desirable.
The governor who spoke with the press after the meeting, said key macroeconomic indicators suggest rebound in output growth for the rest of 2022, which may occur at a much-slower pace than earlier anticipated, in the light of unfolding domestic and external shocks to the economy.
The domestic shocks originate from the persisting insecurity inhibiting economic agents; rising cost of debt and debt servicing; deteriorating fiscal balances; increased spending as the 2023 general elections approach; and continued uptrend in inflationary pressure.
Nigeria’s inflation rose to a record high of 21.09% in October despite efforts by the central bank to rein in consumer prices and cushion growth.
Therefore, the member committee voted unanimously to raise the Monetary Policy Rate, with nine members voting to raise the interest rate by 100 basis points while two members voted to raise it by 50 basis points.
In summary, the MPC voted to:
I. Raise the MPR to 16.5 per cent;
II. Retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR;
III. Retain the CRR at 32.5 per cent; and
IV. Retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.
Zambia’s Finance Minister Faces Dual Challenge in Upcoming Budget Address
As Zambia’s Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, prepares to present the nation’s budget, he finds himself at a pivotal crossroads.
The second-largest copper producer in Africa is grappling with two pressing concerns: debt sustainability and soaring living costs.
Debt Restructuring Dilemma: Musokotwane’s foremost challenge is finalizing the $6.3 billion debt-restructuring deal with official creditors, led by China and France.
Delays have hindered disbursements from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and left private creditors in limbo.
To reassure investors, a memorandum of understanding with the official creditor committee is urgently needed.
President Hakainde Hichilema emphasizes the importance of sealing these transactions to signal closure on this tumultuous chapter.
Plummeting Tax Revenue: The key copper-mining industry, which accounts for 70% of Zambia’s export earnings, is in turmoil.
First-half mining company taxes and mineral royalty collections have nosedived, adding to economic woes.
This, in turn, has depreciated the local currency, exacerbating imported inflation, particularly in fuel prices.
Rising Food Inflation: Musokotwane faces mounting political pressure to combat soaring living costs, with annual inflation reaching an 18-month high of 12%. Corn meal prices, a staple in Zambia, have surged by a staggering 67% in the past year.
Neighboring countries’ demand for corn has led to smuggling and further price spikes, raising concerns about food security.
Currency Woes: The kwacha’s value has been a barometer for the nation’s economic health. It depreciated by 16% since June 22, the worst performance among African currencies, reflecting the ongoing debt-restructuring uncertainty.
In his budget address, Musokotwane faces the daunting task of striking a balance between debt management, economic stability, and alleviating the burden on Zambia’s citizens.
The international community will keenly watch to see if his fiscal measures can steer the nation toward a path of recovery and prosperity.
IMF Urges Sub-Saharan African Nations to Eliminate Tax Exemptions for Fiscal Health
Sub-Saharan African countries have been advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to tackle their fiscal deficits by focusing on eliminating tax exemptions and bolstering domestic revenue rather than resorting to fiscal expenditure cuts, which could hamper economic growth.
The IMF conveyed this recommendation in a paper titled ‘How to avoid a debt crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.’
The IMF’s paper emphasizes that Sub-Saharan African nations should reconsider their overreliance on expenditure cuts as a primary means of reducing fiscal deficits. Instead, they should place greater emphasis on revenue-generating measures such as eliminating tax exemptions and modernizing tax filing and payment systems.
According to the IMF, mobilizing domestic revenue is a more growth-friendly approach, particularly in countries with low initial tax levels.
The paper highlights success stories in The Gambia, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda, where substantial revenue increases were achieved through a combination of revenue administration and tax policy reforms.
The IMF also pointed out that enhancing the participation of women in the labor force could significantly boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in developing countries.
The IMF estimates that raising the rate of female labor force participation by 5.9 percentage points, which aligns with the average reduction in the participation gap observed in the top 5% of countries during 2014-19, could potentially increase GDP by approximately 8% in emerging and developing economies.
In a world grappling with the weakest medium-term growth outlook in over three decades, bridging the gender gap in labor force participation emerges as a vital reform that policymakers can implement to stimulate economic revival.
Pipeline Vandalism Costs NNPC N34.47 Billion in 18 Months
News3 weeks ago
Npower Program Restores Hope with Long-Awaited Stipend Disbursement
Commodities3 weeks ago
Three Chinese Groups Vying to Acquire $2 Billion Botswana Copper Mine
News3 weeks ago
Government Plans to Revamp Npower Scheme and Combat Poverty
Forex4 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Today, 1st September 2023
Banking Sector4 weeks ago
Guaranty Trust Holding Co. Surpasses Expectations with $468 Million Forex Windfall
Forex3 weeks ago
Black Market Dollar to Naira Today, September 7th, 2023
Government4 weeks ago
French Influence Wanes in Africa: Is Macron’s Africa Policy Doomed?
Startups4 weeks ago
Nigerian-American Nurse Turned Millionaire Entrepreneur: The Inspiring Journey of Courtney Adeleye