Nigerians prefer to see higher interest rates than see prices of goods and services rise. This is what the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) found out when it carried out a survey of Nigerians in the first quarter of 2015.
The survey shows that two out of every three Nigerians will rather bear with higher interest rates on loans than experience high inflation rates though majority of Nigerians also know that higher interest rates will have an impact on the prices of goods and services on the streets.
When respondents to the survey were asked what would be best for them personally, for interest rates to go up or go down; 54.6 per cent responded that it would be best for them personally if interest rates go down, 20.3 per cent reported it would „make no difference‟, while 16.8 per cent of the respondents opted for higher interest rates. The results further revealed that 8.3 per cent expressed „no idea‟.
Also 37.6 per cent of the respondents were of the view that the rates would rise, 27.8 per cent believed it would fall in the next 12 months.
The survey also shows that many Nigerians believe that inflation weakens the economy and also showed a preference that the economy should have lower interest rate rather than themselves.
On how much they expect prices in the shops generally to change over the next 12 months? ‟, 20 per cent of the respondent households expect prices to rise by at least 3 per cent in the next 12 months; compared with the 23.5 per cent of respondents that expect prices to rise by 1 per cent but less than 3 per cent in the next 12 months. Similarly, 42.2 per cent of the respondents were optimistic that prices over the next one year would either go down or remain the same. Few people thought that prices were not likely to rise.
Majority of respondents also indicated that they like the CBN efforts to fight inflation. The survey took place from 2nd to 14th February, 2015 with a sample size of 1900 households in 350 randomly selected Enumeration Areas (EAs) across the six geopolitical zones of the country.