ABUJA, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s central bank should adopt a “special monetary policy” to tackle inflation and the country’s foreign exchange rate, the advisory National Economic Council said on Thursday.
The council’s comment comes after the central bank left its benchmark rate at 14 percent, defying calls from the finance minister to lower borrowing costs, so that the government can borrow domestically to boost the economy without increasing debt-servicing costs.
The council, composed of former presidents and state governors, urged the “central bank to introduce special monetary policy dictated by consumer price and exchange rate,” Yetunde Ononuga, deputy governor of Ogun state, told reporters after a meeting of the body. She did not elaborate.
The body, which advises government, does not make policies.
The central bank has said it will keep interest rates tight to attract foreign flows into the currency market to boost liquidity and resolve a chronic dollar shortage brought upon by a slump in oil prices.
It added that past interest rate cuts had not spurred credit growth as the banking system did not respond to the move and rate cuts alone will not help pull Nigeria out of a recession amidst rising inflation.
Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun told the council the country had $2.453 billion in its oil savings Excess Crude Account as at September. (Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Ulf Laessing and Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
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