Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said this after delivering the results of the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
At the meeting, the MPC unanimously agreed to keep the country’s Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5 percent, as well as all other monetary policy measures.
As a result, the Cash Reserved Ratio (CRR) was kept at 27.5%, the Liquidity Ratio at 30%, and the Assymetric Corridor at +100 and -700 basis points around the MPR.
After delivering the MPC meeting results, Emefiele responded to queries by saying that the MPC recognised logistical issues in transferring food from farm gates to markets, as well as hoarding actions, and that the MPC will do all possible to stop them.
According to him, the CBN is investigating the concerns and will have compelling stories to tell about the pattern by the next MPC meeting.
“We found out that prices at farm gates are in line with our expectations because they are somewhat moderated; However, prices at the markets where our statisticians take their survey are high. So, if prices at the markets are high, there is, therefore, some problems between the farm gates and the markets,” he said.
He Added that;
“We see logistical problems, essentially bordering on transportation, also bordering on maybe destruction of food produce or perishable items from farm to market. We are trying to encourage people who are interested in looking at how to resolve the logistical problems of delivering food from farm to market to come in and take advantage of some of the interventions that we have.”
He stated that the MPC believed the increase in food prices in December 2021 was only temporary, and that it planned to revisit the issue at its upcoming meetings.
The MPC, according to Emefiele, is pleased with the Anchor Borrowers programme, which began last year and will help to moderate food prices and prevent hoarding.
“Luckily, we started a programme last year where we said for our own repayment of our loans under the Anchor Borrower programs, we will receive the produce into our own silos and our own warehouses and we will dispose them and sell them to the real end-users. Whether it’s the rice millers or the feed millers who need them to produce, so that through that mechanism, we can be seen to be competing with the hoarders in the market to moderate prices,” he said.
According to him, it worked effectively in 2021 since the central bank issued 50,000 tonnes of maize on a monthly basis through feed millers between February and August of that year.
The MPC, according to the CBN governor, has ensured that the Nigerian commodity exchange would come alive.
Emefiele stated that an independent board will be established in the future, guaranteeing it of all the resources it would require to fulfil its duty as a large commodities exchange capable of holding various produce in the country and competing with hoarders.
On the rice pyramid, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria told Nigerians that they will soon be able to purchase a bag of rice at a decent price.
“We will aggregate those rice paddies and we will sell them to millers and we would like to appeal to the millers that they should also be considerate. We are going to look at every transportation logistic that they are looking at but, Nigerians must receive rice in their plate on their dining tables at moderate prices,” Emefiele said.
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