- Non-performing Loan Ratio Crashes to 13.4%
As economic recession continues to weigh on the banking sector, non-performing loans ratio in the banking industry has crashed further above the Central Bank of Nigeria’s five per cent threshold.
The NPLs ratio fell to 13.4 per cent in September 2016, up 11.7 per cent recorded in June 2016, according to a Bloomberg report.
The industry-wide NPLs ratio had hit 5.3 per cent in December 2015, exceeding the prudential limit of 5.0 per cent, the CBN Financial Stability Report for the first half of last year revealed.
Specifically, the NPLs in the period under review grew by 158 per cent from N649.63bn at end-December 2015, to N1.679tn at end-June 2016, the CBN report showed.
The Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, predicted that the level of troubled loans would continue to climb before an economic recovery in the second half of the year would bring relief to the banks.
“Across the entire industry, you’ll see an uptick in non-performing loan ratios,” Bloomberg quoted Wigwe as saying in a report on Friday.
“We are better than most,” the Access Bank GMD added.
Access Bank, the country’s fourth-largest bank by assets, expects that its NPLs will climb to “slightly below” three per cent of total loans by the end of this year, compared with 2.1 per cent for the nine months through September last year.
The picture is not as rosy for the rest of the industry as lower crude prices and foreign-currency shortages cause the economy to contract.
Wigwe said the lender was targeting companies that sourced their raw materials locally for loans to reduce the risk of unpaid debt.
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the country’s biggest lender by assets, stood out among the largest banks with an NPL ratio of 22.8 per cent at the end of September last year.
Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc had the NPL ratios ranging from 2.2 per cent to 4.1 per cent.
Capital levels also decreased. The sector’s capital adequacy ratio fell to 14.7 per cent in June from 16.1 per cent in December 2015.
For big banks, which the CBN classified as having more than N1tn of assets, the ratio fell to 15.65 per cent, still above the requirement of 15 per cent.
According to Wigwe, conditions in the economy should start improving in the second half of the year if monetary and fiscal measures take hold.
The CBN left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record 14 per cent in November as it seeks to contain inflation that rose to the highest level in more than a decade, with President Muhammadu Buhari planning to boost spending this year by 20 per cent to revive growth.
The Access Bank GMD said the lender had managed to get into an “extremely liquid” position by raising N35bn in the last quarter of 2016 by tapping a N100bn commercial bond programme.
“We will continue to raise until we can get to that programme limit; some of it may mature, which we will repay, then raise again,” Wigwe said.
“The whole idea is that we must always have that liquidity buffer,” he added.
Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority Generates N160.06 Billion in 2020
The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) generated revenue of N160.06 billion in 2020, according to the latest audited financial reports announced by the Managing Director of NSIA Mr. Uche Orji.
The NSIA income came from devaluation gain of N51 billion, and core income of N109 billion compared to N33.07 billion in 2019.
But Orji lamented: “Covid-19 adversely affected logistics around infrastructure projects, especially the toll road projects and the presidential fertiliser initiative.”
Despite the pandemic, the Authority achieved 33 percent growth in Net Assets to N772.75 billion compared to the previous year’s performance of N579.54 billion.
Orji said the NSIA “received additional contribution of $250 million; and provided first stabilisation support to the Federal Government of $150 million withdrawn from Stabilisation Fund last year.”
The same year, the NSIA received $311 million from funds recovered from the late General Abacha from the United States Department of Justice and Island of Jersey for deployment towards the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) projects of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway, Lagos Ibadan Expressway and Second Niger Bridge.
In response to COVID-19, Orji said: “NSIA partnered the global Citizen, a not-for profit group, to form the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund. Separately NSIA acquired and distributed oxygen concentrators to the 21-teaching hospital as part of corporate social responsibility; in addition to staffing support to the Presidential taskforce on COVID-19.”
In 2020, the NSIA “invested additional capital into NG Clearing, the first derivative clearing house in Nigeria to maintain NSIA’s shareholding at 16.5 per cent following the company’s rights issue of 2020″ Orji said.
EFCC Recovers $153m, 80 Assets from Diezani, Says Bawa EFCC Chairman
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa has said the commission recovered $153 million and 80 properties from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Bawa said: “There are several cases surrounding that. As you may have read, I was part of that investigation, and we have done quite a lot. In one of the cases, we recovered $153 million; we have secured the final forfeiture of over 80 properties in Nigeria valued at about $80 million.
“We have done quite a bit on that. The other cases as it relates to the $115 million INEC bribery as the media has sensationalised it, is also ongoing across the federation.”
“We are looking forward to the time when we will, maybe, have her in the country, and of course, review things and see what will happen going forward. The case has certainly not been abandoned.”
Speaking on the trial of former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, he said his trial will start soon in Lagos.
Bawa added: “The position is very clear. The EFCC succeeded in 12 years to get him convicted at the Federal High Court. Of course, he went to the Supreme Court, and because the judge that convicted him has been elevated, the ruling was made and the EFCC as a respecter of the rule of law, we have taken it as it is. The Supreme Court has ordered that we should go back to the Federal High Court in Lagos.
“Now, we are at the Federal High Court in Abuja, and we have applied to the court for the case to be transferred to Lagos as ordered by the Supreme Court to enable us start all over again.
“It, however, draws a precedence, and those are the issues; law as the lawyers will say, is a living thing; we had the ACJA in 2015, we have had this problem of elevation of judges from High Court to Court of Appeal, and we pushed that they should be given the opportunity to finish their cases, because some of these cases have taken a very long time.
“We thought we had succeeded in getting this in ACJA, The law was, however, not seen as such. Now, we may have to solve the problem from the constitution, and then, we will be home and dry.”
Nigeria Consumes 93m Litres of Petrol Daily in April 2021
Nigeria’s daily petrol consumption rose to a record-high of 93 million litres in April 2021, according to the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The amount represents 77 percent of the 120.80 million litres consumed daily in West Africa despite having just 52 percent of the region’s population.
In previous months, Nigeria consumed 61 million litres on average, therefore, the NNPC stated that the 93 million litres per day consumption is unsustainable.
The sudden surged in petrol consumption was a result of smuggling, according to experts.
“There is no doubt that Nigeria’s present petrol consumption is embarrassing, due to smuggling which is currently a thriving business,” Mike Osatuyi, national operations controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria.
On the allegation that marketers illegally export petrol, Osatuyi asked why the five security agencies across the borders are unable to stop it.
Smuggling of petrol across the borders is becoming more intense as Nigeria inches closer to full deregulation, one stakeholder said. Despite over 95 million Nigerians in poverty, the country inadvertently pays for cheap petrol across West Africa.
“It means Nigeria is financing the economies of neighbouring countries,” Osatuyi said. “Nigeria should not be consuming more than 50 million litres per day.”
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