…says January 31st sacrosanct for new banknotes

BY ITSIBOR ITSIBOR

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has continued its aggressive measures to tame inflation by increasing the official benchmark interest rate by another 100 basis points. The Monetary Policy Rate(MPR) was today increased from 16.5% to 17.5%. The committee held other parameters around the MPR.

Addressing reporters at the end of the bank’s meeting today in Abuja, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele said the little drop in inflation rate to 21.36% in December was not enough to hold or reduce the interest rate.

Meanwhile, the CBN governor has also said the bank will not extend the January 31 deadline for the old version of the redesigned higher-denominations of the naira to cease to function as legal tenders.

The CBN governor said about N1.5 trillion had been recovered from circulation as at last week. He expects that before the January 31 date, up to N2 trillion would have been collected from circulation.

Emefiele said the bank had intensified efforts to ensure swop of the old and new notes. Since the last two weeks, the central bank has been on a nationwide sensitisation on the new naira notes.