The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that 22 Nigerian banks submitted requests to restructure 35,639 credit facilities of businesses that were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as of July 20, 2020.
This represents 41.92% of the total industry loan portfolio and has partly reflected in improved industry risk profile, as non-performing loans ratio declined from 6.6% in April 2020 to 6.4% in June 2020.
The disclosure is part of the personal statement made by the CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System, Aisha Ahmad, during the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on July 20, 2020.
She said that the net interest margin remained quite robust despite lower interest income, due to much lower industry interest expense, as deposit rates continued to decline.
This is seen as part of measures by the apex bank to curb the rise in non-performing loans in the system due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.
Also, as part of the drive to reduce non-performing loans, Nairametrics reported that the CBN had given approval to banks to debit bank accounts of chronic loan defaulters with other banks. They were given the power to debit loans and accrued interests due from bank accounts of loan defaulters across the banking system.
She also said, “The loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR), Global Standing Instruction, streamlining of access to Open Market Operations securities and other complementary measures have been strong tailwinds which have strengthened intermediation via increased lending to the key sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and consumer markets (gross credit grew by an additional N300 billion from N18.6 trillion to N18.9 trillion between end April and end June 2020 respectively) and lower market lending rates, which have insulated the financial system from the worst impact of the pandemic.”
Aisha Ahmad explained that these efforts were supported by various ongoing CBN interventions to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses and households.
Some of these interventions include the N50 billion SME and household facility, out of which N49.195 billion has been disbursed to over 92,000 beneficiaries; the N100 billion healthcare facility, and N1 trillion manufacturing and agricultural interventions alongside other significant interventions.
In her note, she said sustained credit to the real economy, particularly for SMEs and households, would be crucial to economic recovery, therefore maintaining banking industry liquidity would be paramount.