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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Tuesday, January 24, unwittingly took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari, over the reckless depletion of the nation’s foreign reserves.
Recall, that the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, had accused President Buhari of spending over $1 million dollars per trip to the United States of America, US, during former President, Barrack Obama’s regime.
‎Presently, President Buhari is in London, where he is said to be on a 10-day medical vacation, costing Nigeria millions of dollars.‎
According to the ‎Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, ‎Buhari who banned public office holders from using public funds to travel abroad, has continued to visit hospitals abroad, even after billions have been budgeted for his treatment, in the Aso Rock hospital.
The CBN while addressing Reporters, at the end of the bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja, yesterday, ‎said the nation’s foreign reserves stands at $28.9 billion.
“The fact that we have began to see some accretion to the reserve, does not mean we should be reckless.
“It is exciting to see this (rise in foreign resreves) happen. We do not run a floating regime, we run a managed float. What that means is that from time to time, we will continue to intervene in the market, to ensure that the exchange rate does not go beyond our expectations, and those interventions would be to moderate the risk, as we deem necessary”, the CBN said.‎
‎The apex bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, reacting to the accusations that the CBN is keeping multiple exchange rates, appealed to “those who are out there fomenting this bad stories, in order to portray the monetary authorities in bad light, to please assist us. If they have questions, they should please approach us, we would respond to them as appropriate.

“The allegations of multiple rates is unfortunate and unfair, from those with direct access to information in the CBN.
“What I had expected, is that they would talk to us. I know they know, but of course the objectives they are pursuing is best known to them,” he said.‎
‎On the 2017 budget and other issues earlier raised, he explained that the: “budget rates are forecast rates, which have always been there from history; it is a rate used to determine the budget. We seized the opportunity when the issue of pilgrimage came up last year, to explain what happened, and you must put yourself in the position of a businessman, where you have struck a deal, but because the conditions have changed, you now pull back and begin to change the conditions. ‎
“That is an unfair business practice. What happened was that sometime last year, the pilgrims commissions (both Christian and Muslim) approached the CBN when the rate was N197/$, and those who were going on pilgrimages started to make payments at N197/$.”
“They made their full payments in advance of the pilgrimages, so when they now wanted to embark on their pilgrimages in July and August, somebody says because market has moved they should pay N300+/$. That would have on the part of the CBN, been seen to be an unfair business practice, just like if the rate had gone down. All other rates operate within the inter-bank segment, and operate within the range,”‎ Emefiele noted.
He concluded by saying, that the CBN ‎opted to leave all monetary policy rates unchanged, despite continued decline in the economy.‎
‎The lending rate for banks and businesses, was retained at 14 percent, while Cash Reserve Ratio, CRR, was left at 22.5 percent, and liquidity ratio at 30 percent.‎
‎At the post-MPC meeting media briefing in his office, the CBN Governor, said the liquidity ratio would be kept within the symmetric window of +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.‎

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