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I’m Not Responsible For Nigeria’s Economic Woes — Cardoso

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso briefs the press after the MPC meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, says himself and his team are not responsible for the current economic woes in the country.

He stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the apex bank, the first since he assumed office in September 2023.

The apex bank boss, however, said the CBN is taking the necessary steps to get the country’s fiscal and monetary health back to normal.

Nigeria is battling rising inflation, food inflation, forex crisis, economic hardship and high cost of living occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy, attracting protests in parts of the country.

But Cardoso said the MPC identified non-monetary factors driving inflation such as the persisting insecurity and infrastructure deficit and noted the role of fiscal policy in addressing the shortfall.

Cardoso was responding to a question that the CBN was responsible for the current economic challenges faced by Nigerians.

“I laugh at that question but it’s not a laughing matter,” Cardoso retorted. “And I think it is very important for Nigerians to understand that the Central Bank Governor — I and my team — are not responsible for the woes that we have today; we are part of the solution.

“We are determined to ensure that we work hard to get out of the mess that Nigeria is in. We assumed responsibility in a time of crisis of confidence; there was a crisis of confidence and you may all want to go to bed and wish that crisis of confidence was not there but it was, and we can’t turn back the clock.

“All we can do is do the difficult things to make a bad situation better and I do believe that the efforts that we are making are beginning to bring back confidence because to be frank, without confidence in your business, you are not going to get far.”

Interest Rate Raised To 22.75%

The MPC also raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), which benchmarks interest rates, by four hundred basis points from 18.75 percent to 22.75 percent.

With inflation at 29.90 percent, he said the new MPR is part of moves to tackle the country’s inflation.

He said the major factor driving inflationary pressure remained exchange rate pass-through, rising cost of energy, high fiscal deficit, and lingering security challenges in major food-producing areas.

He said projections revealed that inflation will remain on an upward trajectory before making a descent.

“The next meeting of the MPC will be held on the 25th and 26th of March, 2024,” he said.

Cardoso, a former Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State, took over the leadership of the apex bank about three months after the suspension of Godwin Emefiele by President Bola Tinubu.

See full communique:

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