In what may confirm fears that the polity may become awash with cash ahead of the general elections which kicks off with the Presidential contest on February 16, 2019, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) shows that currency-in-circulation stood at N2.1 trillion at the end of November, even before the Christmas and New Year festivities.
Compared to the N1.956 trillion reported in the preceding month-end (October), the nation’s reserves level soared by a significant N144.12 billion, or 7.37 percent.
The November 2018 level was the highest since December 2017, when it stood at N2.157 trillion; after which it last touched N2.0 trillion level last March, when it stood at N2.039 trillion.
Year-on-Year, Nigeria’s currency-in-circulation rose by N203.973 billion, or 10.76 percent from N1.896 trillionin November 2017.
Recall that at its last meeting for the year in November, the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in voting unanimously to retain the benchmark rates, “observed that the near-term upside risks to inflation remained; the disruption to agricultural production and distribution arising from flooding, insurgency in the North-East, herdsmen-farmer crisis (and) high cost of energy.
According to the communiqué signed by Godwin Emefiele, other factors included the “anticipated spending in the run-up to Christmas festivities and campaign-related spending towards the upcoming 2019 general elections. Accordingly, the Committee enjoined the appropriate authorities to continue to address these challenges and to sustain the implementation of the 2018 budget and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government to ameliorate the supply side constraints.”
They also noted the likely aggregate demand boost from elections related spending.