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COVID-19: MPC Urges FG To Step Up Measures At Protecting Population

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***Retains All Monetary Policy Parameters

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has urged the Federal Government to take the necessary steps to safeguard the population through close monitoring and emergency readiness measures to identify and care for those infected by the Coronavirus in the country

The MPC made the call at the end of its meeting held at the Corporate headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja.

In its Communique released, the MPC underscored the COVID-19 pandemic as a public health crisis which will continue to undermine any monetary or fiscal stimulus unless appropriate measures are taken to trace, test, isolate and treat infected persons in order to curtail the spread, while ensuring the that migration across the country is significantly reduced.

The Committee observed that not only will the COVID-19 pandemic result in health crises, it will also result in massive economic crises that will force many countries into recession, including the leading industrialised countries.

The MPC called on the Federal Government to take the necessary steps to safeguard the population through close monitoring and emergency readiness measures to identify and care for infected persons in the country, including compulsory restriction of movement to curtail spread of the pandemic.

On the choices before the Committee, the MPC noted the recent actions of the Bank, targeted at strengthening the resilience of the financial system and alleviating the initial impact of the crisis.

In its wisdom, the Committee felt that tightening would result in reining in the rising trend in inflation, and that it would support reserve accretion.

The Committee noted the continued rise in domestic prices; the glut in oil supplies and low oil prices in the wake of the current global shocks; exchange rate pressure and other domestic monetary and fiscal responses to the evolving crises.

The Committee decided by a unanimous vote to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5 per cent and to hold all other policy parameters constant.

The MPC further voted to Retain the asymmetric corridor of +200/-500 basis points around the MPR; Retain the CRR at 27.5 per cent; and Retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

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