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Nigeria raises rates to 18.50% as inflation rises



Naira devaluation’s fake news, says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised interest rate by 50 basis points to 18.50% on Wednesday after inflation struck a more than 17-year high in April.

The move follows a similar 50-basis-point increase in March and means the bank has now raised rates by a cumulative 700 basis points in its latest hiking cycle.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele told a news conference that the monetary policy committee thought that the continued rise in inflation albeit moderate “remained the biggest challenge confronting macroeconomic stability in Nigeria”.

He said policy rate hikes had prevented inflation rising by about 8 percentage points over the past year.

Inflation rose to 22.22% in annual terms in April from 22.04% in March.

Statistics agency data showed earlier on Wednesday that first-quarter economic growth slowed to about 2.3%, hurt by a government plan to swap old banknotes for newly designed ones that disrupted trade and payments.

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