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Buhari may force CBN to reduce lending rate – El-Rufai

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Wednesday, frowned at the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase the Monetary Policy Rate from 12 per cent to 14 per cent.
El Rufai said the government might be forced to wade in and subsequently reduce it through legislation.

The MPR is the anchor rate at which the CBN, in performing its role as a lender of last resort, lends to Deposit Money Banks to boost the level of liquidity in the banking system and the economy.
El-Rufai, while speaking at a forum organised in Abuja by the Women in Business, noted that the high interest rate prescribed by the apex bank was one of the major reasons for the massive job losses in the country.

He faulted the position of the apex bank, stated that while inflation in the United Kingdom was between seven and eight per cent, the lending rate was currently one per cent.

He said, “We have a central bank that has an MPR at what? Fourteen per cent, and banks lending at 20 per cent. Only traders and drug dealers can make money at this interest rate.

“I have said it before and I will repeat it again, unless the central bank and the banking system make a conscious decision to bring the interest rate down, one day we will legislate it.
“The rate of inflation in the UK is not two per cent or one per cent. It is seven to eight per cent. But lending rate is at one per cent. I think they cut the interest rate last week.”

“We must decide that businesses should be able to borrow at the interest rate that makes sense and politically lower rates to that level,” he added.

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