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Somalia begs IMF, wants 3 months to conclude talks on budget support programme

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Somalia has pleaded with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend its financial support by three months to Aug. 17.

IMF’s country mission, Laura Jaramillo, made the disclosure to newsmen on Friday.

Jaramillo said the government has written to the IMF’s board asking for more time to conclude talks on the budget support programme’s renewal, said Laura, IMF’s mission head.

“The extension is expected to provide the time needed to confirm policy understandings with the new government after presidential elections are completed,” she said.

Jaramillo did not comment on whether the automatic expiration of the programme will be extended.

The Executive Board of the IMF granted additional interim assistance to Somalia under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in the amount of SDR 0.68 million (about US$ 0.97 million) on a lapse of time basis.

The monetary body in February warned that Somalia’s delayed legislative and presidential elections put the renewal of the three-year budget support programme, worth nearly $400 million, at risk of automatic expiration this month.

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Kenya’s apex bank sets lending rate benchmark at 8.75%

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Kenya’s central bank on Monday announced new monetary policy holding its benchmark lending rate steady at 8.75%.

Kenya’s monetary policy committee however said, its last hike in November was still working its way through the economy, stressing that there are there had been others measures that could help to lower inflationary pressure.

The committee said “this action will be complemented by the recently announced government measures to allow limited duty-free imports on specific food items, which are expected to moderate prices.”

Inflation inched down to 9.1% in December, the second straight month of decrease, but still above the government’s preferred band of 2.5-7.5%.

Policymakers major African countries like Nigeria and South Africa have hiked rates last week, while their Ghanaian counterparts hiked earlier on Monday.

Policymakers raised the policy rate for the first time since 2015 during their meeting in May last year, when they increased it by 50 basis points, citing growing inflation.

They followed that with a 75 basis points hike in September and another one of 50 basis points in November.

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Nigeria’s apex bank, CBN, bows to pressure, extends deadline for use of notes

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Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline for the use of the old notes till February 10.

The bank’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the extension in a statement signed on Sunday.

According to the statement, the CBN revealed that it sought approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the deadline for the use of the old notes by 10 days.

“based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr. President’s approval for the following:  A 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31 to February 10 to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians,” the statement read.

Nigeria has been on a recent trend of monetary policy in a bid to rescue its struggling economy. Nigeria’s apex bank recently announced plans to introduce new designs of the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes this month.

“A 7-day grace period, beginning from February 10 to February 17, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender Status.”

There has been calls and protests in some quarters for the extension of the deadline for the use of the old bank notes, including allegations by the ruling party presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu that the policy was targeted at him and aimed at sabotaging his election.

 

 

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