The Central Bank of Nigeria held its key interest rate yesterday, opting to reassure jittery currency investors rather than cutting rates to help growth.
Bank governor Godwin Emefiele said in the capital Abuja that monetary policy members had voted unanimously to keep the repo rate at 14%.
“Conscious of the need to allow this and other measures, like foreign exchange reforms, to work through fully, we decided to retain all monetary policy means at their current levels,” he said.
Nigeria is in recession as a result of plunging global oil prices and production – its main government revenue – after rebel attacks on its oilfields.
Economic weakness would favour easier monetary policy, but Nigeria has also been working to lure back investors who balked at a restrictive foreign exchange regime.
Emefiele said it was a priority of the bank to “deepen foreign exchange supply”, while acknowledging there were still major constraints to growth.