Nigeria's central bank raised its benchmark lending rate to 22.75% from 18.75%, 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 and the naira currency keeps setting record lows .

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