Nigeria unlikely to hold interest rate meeting next week -c.bank sources - REUTERS

January 19 2018

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's central bank is unlikely to hold an interest rate setting meeting on Jan. 22 as scheduled because several new members of the monetary policy committee (MPC) have yet to be approved by lawmakers, two central bank sources told Reuters.

At least five of the MPC's 12 members are due to be replaced after retiring last year. "The indications that the MPC might not hold are there because of quorum," one of the sources said.

Central bank rules state that at least six members of the MPC are needed to approve an interest rate decision. A rate announcement had been expected on Jan 23, a day after the meeting.

The sources said the central bank would issue a statement.

At its last meeting in November, the MPC held rates at the same 14 percent level it has kept for more than a year, to fight inflation and to attract foreign investors to support the naira.

The head of Nigeria's statistics bureau told Reuters this week he expects inflation to fall faster this year than in 2017 as the economy and currency stabilise, but warned that spending ahead of elections next year could stoke price rises.

Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Camillus Eboh; Editing by Catherine Evans