Deposit money banks in the country would have to increase their cash reserves with the Central Bank of Nigeria as the monetary policy committee of the bank voted to raise cash reserve ratio to 27.5%.
With a vote of nine out of 11 members, the committee agreed that the monetary policy rate, which impacts interest rate, should remain at 13.5%, liquidity ratio at 30% and asymmetric corridor at +200 -500 basis point.
Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, announced this on Friday after a two-day meeting of the committee.
The CRR is used to determine the minimum deposit commercial banks must hold in reserves with the CBN rather than lend out. It influences funds available at the bank’s disposal to create loans.
Emefiele said the MPR would be maintained at its current rate because of the need to understand the growth trend of the year.
“Committee is confident that increasing the CRR at this time is fortuitous as it will help address monetary induced inflation whilst retaining the benefits of the bank’s loan to deposit ratio policy which has been successful in increasing credit to the private sector as well as pursuing market interest rates downwards,” Emefiele said.
“To retain the gains from the credit expansion and current industry focus on lending, committee advised the bank to sustain its current loan to deposit ratio policy.”
Emefiele said inflation rate is still above the target band of 6% to 9% and “inflation above the 12% will be inimical to output growth”.
The December inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics NBS report showed that headline inflation rate firmed up in December by 0.13% to 11.98% from 11.85% in November.