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New Nigeria central bank governor to cut rates

June 5, 2014

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s new central bank governor says the bank will be “people-focused” and his position will be “apolitical.”

In his first public statement since he took over on Tuesday, Godwin Emefiele says the central bank would start cutting interest rates gradually to reduce borrowing costs. The move is likely to be popular among businesses and Finance Minister Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala who have been requesting former bank head Lamido Sanusi to cut the rates.

The central bank has kept the benchmark lending rate at a record high 12 percent since November 2011. Analysts say that helped attract foreign investors into the market, stabilized the naira and kept inflation low.

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