Nigeria's central bank hikes benchmark rate to 22.75%

Credit: REUTERS/AFOLABI SOTUNDE

Adds context in paragraphs 2,3

ABUJA, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Nigeria's central bank raised its benchmark lending rate to 22.75% from 18.75% NGCBIR=ECI, its governor Olayemi Cardoso said on Tuesday.

Cardoso told a news conference that all members of the 12-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) participated in the first rate decision since Cardoso took office last September.

Economists had predicted a big rate hike, as inflation has risen to its highest since mid-1996 NGCPIY=ECI and the naira currency keeps setting record lows NGN=D1, NGNP=.

(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Elisha Bala-Gbogbo Writing by Bhargav Acharya Editing by Alexander Winning)

((Bhargav.Acharya@thomsonreuters.com))

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