The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has described the Nigerian banking sector as healthy, strong, and resilient.
He shared this at the 14th annual conference held by the Chartered Institute Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Abuja on Tuesday, adding that the current state of the sector was influenced by factors such as the embrace of digital channels and establishing business continuity plans.
He said, “We also enabled banks to restructure loans granted to individuals and businesses significantly affected by the pandemic. Our banks also demonstrated exceptional resilience by putting in place business continuity plans, along with the deployment of digital channels, which ensured that the provision of financial services to customers was not disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted that these measures have paid off. Indeed, key indicators in the banking sector continue to reflect that our banking sector remains strong, resilient, and healthy.
“Capital Adequacy Ratio and Liquidity Ratio in the banking sector have remained above the prudential limits at 15.5 and 41.3 per cent, respectively.
“The Non-Performing Loan Ratio of the Banking Industry in July 2021 stood at 5.4 per cent reflecting continued improvements from 6 per cent in September 2020.
“Our banking sector remains well-positioned to support the recovery efforts of the fiscal and monetary authorities.”
Emefiele also disclosed plans to create a Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC) that would create an avenue for more growth in the banking sector.
He said, “This new financial hub will curate local and international banks to make them global champions. The NIFC will be a 24/7 Financial centre that will complement London, New York and Singapore financial centres and enable an acceleration of our homegrown initiatives such as Infracorp plc, the N15 trillion infrastructure fund which we will be launching in October 2021.”
Speaking on support schemes created by the government through the apex bank, Emefiele said that the sum of N756 billion had been set aside for farmers and the procurement of farmland under the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
He stated, Another is the deployment of N440 billion to 711,706 beneficiaries under the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) and the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) being run by the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank; disbursement of N98.41 billion in loans to support 103 healthcare projects, of which 26 are pharmaceutical companies and 77 are for healthcare institutions.
“These funds are helping to expand and strengthen the capacity of our healthcare institutions; provision of N923 billion in loans to support 251 real sector projects, which has helped in boosting local manufacturing and production across critical sectors.”