The 228th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) begins today at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

The committee which comprises CEOs of commercial banks and some financial institutions is expected to look at the challenges of inflation on the economy among other issues.

The MPC kept the benchmark rate at 12 per cent at its last meeting.

As the CBN MPC meeting holds today, the inflation numbers will feed some private sector demand for a loosening of monetary policy, and most analysts are expecting rates to remain at 12 percent, as they have been since November last year.

The rate decision will be announced on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, lending rates at the interbank market was on the upswing last Friday after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) withdrew a portion of its deposits from commercial banks. Call money closed above 16 per cent.

According to reports, the market opened with a negative balance of N42 billion ($266.08 million) on Friday.

The hike in the rate is also as a result of the CBN’s debiting the accounts of banks for foreign exchange purchased at a Wednesday auction.