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CBN Raises Interest Rate by 150 Basis Points to 26.25% from 24.75%




The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has raised the country’s baseline interest rate by 150 basis points to 26.25 per cent from 24.75 per cent.

Mr Yemi Cardoso, the Governor of CBN, said this on Tuesday in Abuja, while reading the communique from the 295th meeting of the MPC.

Cardoso, however, said that the committee decided to hold all other parameters constant.

The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) was thus, retained at 45 per cent, the Liquidity Ratio of 30 per cent was retained and Asymmetric Corridor of +100/-300 basis points around the MPR was also retained.

Cardoso said that all 12 members of the committee were present at the meeting.

According to him, the key focus of the committee at the meeting remained to achieve price stability by effectively using tools available to the monetary authority to reign in inflation.

He said that members observed that while year-on-year headline inflation in April rose moderately, the month-on-month measures of headline, food, and core inflation all declined significantly.

“This follows a decline month-on-month of headline and food measures in March, suggesting that the recent tight monetary policy stance of the CBN is beginning to yield the desired outcome,” he said.

He said that the MPC, however, noted that inflationary pressure continues to be driven largely by food inflation.

“The committee, thus, reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation.

“They include rising cost of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure related constraints along the line of distribution network, and security challenges in some food producing areas,” he said.

Cardoso said that “exchange rate pass-through” to domestic prices for imported food items was also an impediment to taming food inflation.

According to him, the MPC urged that more be done to improve the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas,” he said.

Reports says that this is the third consecutive tightening of the baseline interest rate, known as the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by the MPC under Cardoso.

At its 293rd meeting in February, the committee increased the MPR by 400 basis points from 18.75 per cent to 22.85 per cent, and also increased it by 200 basis points, to 24.75 per cent from 22.75 per cent in March.

Meanwhile, an economist, Dr Chijioke Ekechukwu, reacting to the decision of the MPC, urged stakeholders to give the committee the benefit of the doubt.

” Although, a continuous increase of MPR in my opinion, is not going to control inflation. It is rather going to continue to increase it, as the cost of funds will rise.

“This will ultimately be borne by consumers through higher prices of goods and services.

“There are other drivers of inflation, which are not within the control of the monetary policy.

” If a sickness needs a combined doses of two drugs to heal, and you use only one drug, that sickness will remain with the patient,” Ekechukwu said.

Uche Uwaleke, a professor of Capital Market and the president of the Association of Capital Markets Academics of Nigeria, said that the hike in the MPR by a further 150 basis points would most likely have an adverse consequence on the equities market.

According to Uwaleke, this is given the inverse relationship between interest rates and equities market returns.

“It has the potential of triggering portfolio rebalancing in favour of fixed income securities.

“If I were a member of the MPC, I would have voted for a hold position as the aggressive policy rate hike is taking a toll on output.

” Production is stiffled because of very high cost of funds.

“Moreover, the seeming over reliance on the MPR as a tool to tame inflation does not appear to be making any meaningful impact due to the significant non-monetary factors driving inflation in Nigeria,” he said.

He listed such factors to include high cost of energy, transport as well as insecurity in the food-belt regions of the country. (NAN)


DG, NA Centre Tasks Judiciary on Due Diligence in Handling Terrorism Cases




The Director-General, Nigerian Army Resource Centre, retired Maj..-Gen.Garba Wahab has urged the judiciary to carry out due diligence in handling cases of terrorism insurgency, banditry and other security threats facing the nation.

The call Wahab said became necessary to guard against impunity by perpetrators of such acts.

He made the call while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Friday.

”Let the judiciary start doing their job because if we don’t, we are encouraging impunity”.

Wahab also said that the conference was a pre-conference to a roundtable to be held on Monday and Tuesday on “Asymmetrical National Security Challenges, the Army and National Development”.

He said that the security challenges in the country were well-known issues by all adding that it behoved on all stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the myriad of the problems.

“We will like to trudge on to find a solution to the security challenges. We know the problems but what are the solutions.

“We have issues. We must find solutions; we must beg, if it means begging… This is our country and it must work.

“We must find a way to make sure things work in Nigeria. Prosecution is a two-way thing. The judge and the prosecuting officers must up their game.

“The judiciary must be up and doing. Series of allegations have been leveled and we are not leveling allegation against anybody, but we must work as a country,” Wahab said.

Also speaking, the Executive Director , Development Specs Academy, Prof. Okey Ikechukwu said that the pre-conference was organised as part of public engagements designed to strengthen public awareness on asymmetrical national security challenges.

“The essence of drawing special attention to our strategic partners is to emphasise the roles and relevance of credible and highly professional bodies, institutes and institutions as well as agencies of government that are headed by professionals in public communication and the media.”

He said that asymmetrical security challenges ranged from embedded targets, refusal of the average person to help the army and other security agencies with local intelligence.

“We become illiterate enough not to understand that it is our duty to provide that intelligence for us to be protected.

“So that is a security challenge for those managing security but it doesn’t take the standard form that they are familiar with so refusal to help.”

Ikechukwu listed the partners to the planned roundtable to include the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Voice of Nigeria (VON), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, among others.(NAN)

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Police Neutralise Kidnap Suspect, Arrest 4 others in Delta




The Police Command in Delta has neutralised a suspected member of a kidnap gang during a shootout in Ughelli North Local Government area.

The command’s spokesman, SP Bright Edafe told newsmen on Friday in Warri that the other members of the gang escaped during the shootout.

Edafe said that the incident occurred on Thursday near the Adjekota-Ogor communities  of Ughelli North.

He said that the team of police operatives deployed by the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Olufemi Abaniwonda, intercepted and engaged the hoodlums resulting in the death of one of the gang members.

Edafe said that the team lead by ASP Julius Robinson, acting on credible intelligence, stormed a criminal hideout on the Ughelli/Patani Road by an abandoned filling station.

“The hoodlums on sighting the police opened fire on the team, and the police responded.

“In the ensuing gun duel, one of the hoodlums sustained serious gun shot injuries while others escaped.

“The injured suspect was taken to the hospital where he died while receiving treatment,” he said.

Edafe said that two Beretta pistol and five rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the gang members.

The command’s spokesman said that a manhunt was already underway for the fleeing members of the gang.

Edafe also said that the police special team arrested four robbery/kidnap suspects in Sapele Town on Wednesday.

He said that ASP Robinson led the police team to the suspects hideout in Sapele and effected the arrest.

According to him, one locally made cut-to-size gun was recovered from the suspects.

Edafe said that preliminary investigation revealed that aside the hoodlums’ involvement in cult-related activities, they were also suspected to be armed robbers

The police spokesman said that investigation into the case was ongoing. (NAN)

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NDLEA seized 761,000 Tonnes of Illicit Drugs in 3 Years, Says Marwa




Retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, the  Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says the agency seized 761,000 tonnes of  illicit drugs and substances between January 2021 and March 2024.

Marwa said this during a special Juma’at service as part of  activities to mark the 2024 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the National Mosque in Abuja on Friday.

Reports says that June 26 every year is set aside to commemorate the day and the theme of the 2024 World Drug Day (WDD) is: “Evidence is Clear, Let Us Invest in Prevention”.

The NDLEA boss said that the 2018 drug use survey showed that 15 million Nigerians abused drugs, saying that it was three times the global average.

Marwa, who described the report as unacceptable said that the aim of the year 2024 World Drug Day (WDD) Campaign was Prevention.

“Money-making is the major reason drug barons are persistent inspite of the efforts of the agency to curb to the barest minimum drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

“When you look at the population of Nigeria and you take out 15 million, it means the rest are not.

We don’t want even a single Nigerian to enter that basket of users.

“We have made seizures in three years of 761,000 tons but they still keep coming and we have to look at the other side.

“Now, assuming we didn’t seize it, were will it be? it will be on the streets and the money would have been used for very negative purposes or it would have gone to the criminals.

“We are doing our level best, supported by the government to make sure the supply reduction is very effective,” he said.

Speaking further, Marwa said that prevention was very important in dealing with drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking, adding that the agency had recommended a two track approach.

He said that the first and most important track was global which was the entire society, all fragments, beginning with the family, parenting, adding that the children should be taught as they grow up why drug use was bad.

“We have children killing their parents. So in anyway, parentage and parenting is also important.

“Most important is the community level, the traditional institution, religious bodies, both christian and Muslim should include in their sermons and the advocacy in the school system and the curriculum.

“There should be  random drug tests. For instance, we have promoted drug tests for students, tertiary institutions and drug tests before marriage.

“When you go for the wedding, bring the HIV, the genotype and bring drug tests that are negative.

“These are some of the steps on this side. On the other side is to deny availability of drugs and access. You have to have drugs first to abuse it.

“And it’s our job as NDLEA to launch operations to seize drugs, arrest the offenders, take them to court, and seize their assets as well, “he said.(NAN)

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