The next Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting will hold between seven to 10 days behind schedule, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, said on Thursday.
The governor said after the screening of the new nominees by the Senate, the Committee would have to wait for some days to allow the Committee of Governors to meet first before the decision on the date for the MPC meeting.
Unable to hold its first meeting for the year last January, the next meeting of the CBN committee in charge of monetary policy was supposed to hold on either March 19 or 20.
The January meeting was cancelled following the inability of members to form a statutory quorum as stipulated in the CBN Act.
The Senate had refused to confirm new nominees submitted by the president to fill vacant positions created by the exit of some former members who either retired or completed their tenures.
The lawmakers had refused to confirm the nominees in protest of the continued refusal of the executive to dump the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, after the confirmation of his appointment was rejected twice.
With the lawmakers now backtracking and agreeing to screen the nominees, the CBN governor said the committee may not be able to meet earlier than seven to ten days after the new members' have been screened.
"I am delighted the Senate has now decided to screen the nominees earlier sent to them by Mr. President. But, we will have a few days delay. What I suspect is we will be holding our committee of governors meeting after that.
"It is the meeting that will decide when we the MPC will meet. I believe we will just have between seven to ten days delay for the MPC to hold," the CBN governor said.
He was speaking to journalists after inspecting the Sunti sugar factory owned by the Flour Mills Nigeria.
The two Deputy Governors are Aisha Ahmad and Edward Adamu, while the new MPC members submitted to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari last year for confirmation included Adeola Adenikinju, Robert Asogwa, Asheikh Maidugu, and Aliyu Sanusi.
Speaking on the sugar factory, which is partly funded by the CBN as part of its intervention efforts, Mr. Emefiele said with its success, "nothing was impossible and no hurdle was insurmountable."
"Nigeria is a country endowed with a lot of resources. The country is endowed with youth and intelligent people and a good soil. I believe we can do it.
"Let me repeat the promise I made. If any company is interested in any agricultural, agro allied and agro-processing industry, we (CBN) are ready to support them," he said.
He said it was not just the sugar factory, but also about 17,000 hectares of land on which the company was cultivating about 3,000 hectares of sugar cane.
"The standard practice has been that if one owns a sugar mill one should produce for six months in a year. But for the output they have now, they will be producing for just one month.
"So, what we (CBN) are trying to do through the Anchor Borrowers Programme is to empower small holder farmers who can grow sugar cane plantation which will serve as additional stock for the sugar mill," the CBN governor said.