The monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that over one million customers have been able to access loans at less than 20 percent interest rate from deposit money banks.
In a document containing the personal statements of MPC members, Aishah Ahmad, the CBN deputy governor for financial systems stability, provided this figure at the most recent MPC meeting which held on November 23 and November 24, 2020.
“As at October 2020, 86.23 percent of total loans granted to over one million customers by deposit money banks (DMBs) were at interest rates considerably below 20 percent; an improvement from 76.43 percent of total loans as at July 2019,” she said.
“The gradual decline reported in lending rates is a positive development that improves access to credit for more households and businesses with a view to stimulating economic activity, creating jobs and driving a more sustainable and inclusive growth.”
She said this low-interest rate was captured in the open buy back (OBB) rate which was at 1.88 percent at the end of October 2020, stating that it is a sign of a highly liquid banking system.
She also said CBN must maintain vigilance to ensure optimal liquidity levels to support price stability and sustainable economic growth under this low interest rate environment.
She further said non-performing loans (NPLs) ratio declined to 5.7 percent at the end of October 2020 from 6.1 percent in August 2020, while capital adequacy improved to 15.5 percent from 15.3 percent during the same period.
Ahmad said profitability performance also remained satisfactory buoyed by improvement in non-interest income, adding that “financial sustainability of banks will be paramount as moratoriums on restructured loans lapse in the near term to strengthen absorptive capacity for any potential losses and maintain lending support to the real economy”.