CBN Aims to Tame Food Prices With Commodities Exchange

By Sahabi Abdul

Central Bank of Nigeria will run the government-owned commodities exchange, using it is as a tool to tame rising food costs, Governor Godwin Emefiele said.

Blaming speculators for helping surging food prices, Emefiele said the regulator already obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to takeover the Abuja-based Nigerian Commodity Exchange. First set up in 1998, it has operated with little impact since then.

“We will run it the way commodity exchanges are supposed to be run,” Emefiele said at the bimonthly briefing on interest rate decisions in Abuja.”Price stability is the core mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, we can’t shy away from the responsibility.”

The Central Bank left its benchmark rate unchanged at 11.5 percent at the latest meeting of its monetary policy committee, leaving the rate it charges banks borrowing from it where it was set since September.  

December inflation was at a three-year high of 15.75 percent, largely propelled by food inflation that ended the year at 19.56 percent.