From Uche Usim, Abuja
Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, on Monday said the management of the apex bank would soon be meeting with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning to work out ways of immediately resolving the fuel scarcity imbroglio, now impacting prices of goods and services.
Emefiele, who stated this at the 141th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, also said that the members of the policy committee voted to retain all monetary policy parameters, including the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5 per cent; asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; the CRR at 27.5 per cent; and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.
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According to Emefiele, the Russia-Ukraine crisis has dealt a devastating blow on the energy sector, leading to supply shortages across the globe.
He said the MPC was particularly worried about the rising crude oil theft in Nigeria, which is worsening the energy crisis and preventing Nigeria from meeting it’s production quota.
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He said: “the MPC is worried about global shortage of petroleum products. This has led to inflation. MPC is seeking ways to address this. “Nigeria exports crude oil and imports refined and this means we have to pay for imports. The committee noted the reduction in foreign reserves. The committee is also worried about oil theft and its effects on the economy. But we’re hopeful that the coming into operations of Dangote Refinery will help in ensuring fuel availability. The coming into operations of the entire Dangote complex will save Nigeria 30 per cent of the cost of importing the items produced in the complex.
“We were told that the Finance Ministry and NNPC are holding a meeting on the scarcity challenge. We too will be engaging the NNPC as well to see ways of making it easy for them to end fuel shortage which has led to arbitrary pricing.
“The rising price of diesel has led to poor electricity. We are working to put things under control. Food inflation declined due to good harvest”, he explained.