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50 Customers Owe Banks N5.23tn

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Recession bites
  • 50 Customers Owe Banks N5.23tn

Fifty customers owe commercial banks the sum of N5.23tn, representing 33.4 per cent of the total private sector credit exposure of N15.68tn, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Financial System Stability report has stated.

The FSS report, posted on the CBN website on Saturday, also showed that the nation’s banks gave N1.537tn loans to oil companies and some state governments in the first six months of the year.

“The  total  exposure  to  the  top  50  obligors  stood  at N5.23tn  (33.4 per cent)  of  total  industry  credit exposure of N15.68tn,” the CBN said in the report.

Although the report did not give the identities of the 50 big bank debtors, it indicated that non-performing loans in the period under review grew by 158 per cent from N649.63bn at end-December 2015, to N1.678tn at end -June 2016.

The NPL ratio rose to 11.7 per cent from 5.3 per cent, thus exceeding the prudential limit of 5.0 per cent, it stated.

It also said that as of June ending 2016, loans to oil and gas sector by the banking sector had hit N4.5tn, representing 28.77 per cent of the total industry loan.

The CBN noted that the development did not augur well for the industry well-being.

The 81-page FSS report stated in part, “Credit exposure to the dominant sectors is as follows: 28.77 per cent to oil and gas sector; 12.95 per cent to manufacturing; 8.84 per cent to governments; and 8.69 per cent to general commerce.

“Credit  risk  is  expected  to  trend  higher  into  the  second  half  of  2016 owing to increased  loan impairments resulting  from  the  depreciation  of  the  naira,  inability  of  obligors  to  service foreign currency-denominated loans, as well as bank exposures to the oil and gas sector.”

A total of N1.204tn loan was given to the oil and gas while N333bn was given some state governments within the six-month period.

The report stated, “At end-June 2016, loans to the oil and gas sector constituted 28.77 per cent of the gross loan portfolio of the banking  system as credit to that sector grew to N4.511tn, compared with N3.307tn at end-December 2015. Loans to state governments rose to N1,386.61bn from N1,053.97bn at  end-December 2015, as  declining  revenues continued to constrain payment of salary by  some states, funding of key services and execution of developmental  projects.

“This was despite the CBN’s N338bn special intervention scheme designed to refinance states’ debts, as well as a debt restructuring programme introduced by the Debt Management Office, which enabled states to restructure their commercial loans in the preceding period.  However, to prevent further financial crisis, a fresh facility of N90bn with a nine per cent interest rate was made available to the  states.”

According to the CBN, the biting economic recession has made the market share of the five biggest commercial banks in the country in terms of total assets to decline by 17.3 per cent in six months.

The report read in part, “In terms of size of assets and deposit of banks, the market share of the five largest banks in the first half of 2016 declined to 43.30 and 51.96 per cent, from 60.61 and  52.94 per cent in  the  second half of 2015, respectively.

“The market share of the largest bank’s deposits and assets stood at 12.84 and 13.52 per cent, respectively in the first half of 2016. The remaining 18 banks had market shares ranging from 0.21 to 6.58 per cent in deposits and 0. 26 to 6. 41 per cent in assets, reflecting low competition in the market.”

Despite the improvement recorded relative  to  the  first  half  of  the  year, the structure of the banking industry in the first half of 2016 remained oligopolistic, according to the report.

Economic and financial experts said the challenging economic situation had led to muted low growth in the banking industry with most banks scaling down drastically on their lending activities.

Most banks, they added, were now being preoccupied with how to clean up their books by recovering some of the huge NPLs in their books.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Peter Obi Advocates for Full Government Backing of Dangote’s $21bn Refinery Project

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Peter G. Obi

Peter Obi, a prominent Nigerian politician and public figure, has called for unwavering support for the Dangote Refinery amid recent conflicts between Dangote Industries and government agencies.

In a passionate appeal, Obi said the current disputes extend beyond political and personal differences, touching upon the broader interests of Nigeria’s economy and its future prosperity.

In his statement on X.com, Obi highlighted the refinery’s immense potential to drive economic growth and create employment opportunities.

With an estimated annual revenue potential of approximately $21 billion and the capacity to generate over 100,000 jobs, the Dangote Refinery represents a cornerstone of Nigeria’s industrial advancement and economic stabilization.

“The recent challenges faced by Dangote Industries should not overshadow the vital role this enterprise plays in our national economy,” Obi asserted.

“Alhaji Dangote’s contributions are monumental, and it is essential that we rally behind his ventures, particularly the refinery, which is set to make a significant impact on our fuel crisis and foreign exchange earnings.”

The refinery, with its strategic importance, stands as a beacon of hope for Nigeria’s fuel supply and overall economic development.

It is poised to address long-standing issues in the energy sector, provide substantial revenue streams, and enhance the country’s economic resilience. Given these benefits, Obi stressed that any actions hindering the refinery’s operation would be counterproductive.

Obi also commended Alhaji Dangote for his remarkable achievements across various sectors, including cement, sugar, salt, fertilizer, infrastructure, and more.

“Alhaji Dangote embodies patriotism and commitment to Nigeria’s growth. His extensive industrial activities are not only a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit but also a vital contribution to Nigeria’s economic landscape,” he added.

Despite the challenging business environment, Dangote’s diversified industrial investments demonstrate a commitment to Nigeria’s industrialization and job creation.

Obi urged the Federal Government and its agencies to offer full support to Dangote Industries, recognizing the broader economic benefits and the positive impact on national welfare.

“The success of Dangote Industries is intrinsically linked to the success of Nigeria and Africa as a whole. We cannot afford to let such a crucial enterprise falter,” Obi warned. “Every sensible and patriotic government should view enterprises like Dangote Industries as national treasures that deserve robust support and protection.”

Obi’s appeal underscores the critical need for collaboration between the government and private sector leaders to ensure the successful operation of key projects like the Dangote Refinery.

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Dangote Accuses NNPC and Oil Traders of Secret Operations in Malta

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Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, has leveled serious allegations against personnel from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and certain oil traders.

Speaking at a session with the House of Representatives, Dangote claimed that these parties have established a blending plant in Malta, raising concerns about the integrity of Nigeria’s fuel supply.

Dangote described the blending plant as lacking refining capability, instead focusing on mixing re-refined oil with additives to produce lubricants.

“Some of the terminals, some of the NNPC people, and some traders have opened a blending plant somewhere off Malta,” he stated.

He emphasized that these activities are well-known within industry circles.

Addressing the drop in diesel prices, Dangote argued that locally produced diesel, with sulfur content levels of 650 to 700 parts per million (ppm), is superior to imported variants.

He linked numerous vehicle issues to what he described as “substandard” imported fuel.

He called for the House of Representatives to set up an independent committee to investigate fuel quality at filling stations.

“I urge you to take samples from filling stations and compare them with our production line to inform Nigerians accurately,” Dangote insisted.

The accusations come amid an ongoing dispute between the Dangote Refinery and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

Farouk Ahmed, NMDPRA’s chief executive, had previously claimed that local refineries, including Dangote’s, were producing inferior products compared to imports.

Also, the House of Representatives has initiated a probe into allegations that international oil companies are undermining the Dangote Refinery’s operations.

In response to the escalating tensions, Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, intervened by meeting with key stakeholders including Dangote, Ahmed, and other top officials from the Nigerian petroleum regulatory bodies.

The discussions aimed to address claims of monopoly against Dangote, which he has strongly denied, and to ensure that all parties operate transparently and fairly.

This development highlights the complex dynamics within Nigeria’s oil industry. The allegations and subsequent investigations could impact market stability and investor confidence.

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Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote Ready to Sell Refinery to Nigerian Government

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Dangote refinery

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest entrepreneur, has announced his willingness to sell his multibillion-dollar oil refinery to Nigeria’s state-owned energy company, NNPC Limited.

This decision comes amid a growing dispute with key partners and regulatory authorities.

The $19 billion refinery, which began operations last year, is a significant development for Nigeria, aiming to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel.

However, challenges in sourcing crude and ongoing disputes have hindered its full potential.

Dangote expressed frustration over allegations of monopolistic practices, stating that these accusations are unfounded.

“If they want to label me a monopolist, I am ready to let NNPC take over. It’s in the best interest of the country,” he said in a recent interview.

The refinery has faced difficulties with supply agreements, particularly with international crude producers demanding high premiums.

NNPC, initially a supportive partner, has delivered only a fraction of the crude needed since last year. This has forced Dangote to seek alternative suppliers from countries like Brazil and the US.

Despite the challenges, Dangote remains committed to contributing to Nigeria’s economy. “I’ve always believed in investing at home.

This refinery can resolve our fuel crisis,” he stated, urging other wealthy Nigerians to invest domestically rather than abroad.

Recently, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority accused Dangote’s refinery of producing substandard diesel.

In response, Dangote invited regulators and lawmakers to verify the quality of his products, which he claims surpass imported alternatives in purity.

Amidst these challenges, Dangote has halted plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry, citing concerns over monopoly accusations.

“We need to focus on what’s best for the economy,” he explained, emphasizing the importance of fair competition and innovation.

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the potential sale of Dangote’s refinery to NNPC could reshape the nation’s energy landscape and secure its energy independence.

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