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Nigerian banks’ non-performing loans drop significantly by 41% in 2019

The Nigerian banking industry witnessed a significant 41% decline in non-performing loans (NPLs) last year, the NBS has disclosed.



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The Nigerian banking industry witnessed a significant 41% decline in non-performing loans (NPLs) last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed.

The details

According to the NBS’s Selected Banking Sector Data for Q4 2019, which was released recently, banks’ NPLs dropped to N1.05 trillion in 2019, down from 1.79 trillion which was recorded during the preceding year.

The decline in NPLs is despite the fact that banks provided more credit facilities to the private sector in 2019, the NBS report noted. In specific terms, bank loans to companies in 2019 stood at N17.19 trillion, indicating a 4% increase when compared to total loan of N15.13 trillion that was disbursed to the private sector in 2018. Parts of the NBS report said:

”In terms of credit to private sector, the total value of credit allocated by the bank stood at N17.19 trillion as at Q4’19. Oil & Gas and Manufacturing sectors got credit allocation of N3.42 trillion and N2.62 trillion respectively, to record the highest credit allocation as at the period under review.”

[READ MORE: Nigerian banks face gloomy future over low oil prices, coronavirus)

What this means

The decline in banks’ NPL ratio is due to two possible factors: increase in loan recoveries and loan write-offs. This is according to Chudi Achara, a Management Associate at First Bank of Nigeria Limited, who spoke to Nairametrics.

What to ask before taking loans, bad loan

READ MORE: OPS writes Buhari, demands tax holidays amid COVID-19 crisis

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He further explained that another factor that must have helped banks to reduce NPL ratio is the decision to diversify their loan portfolios into other viable sectors such as manufacturing and export. According to him, banks’ decision to diversify followed the oil price crisis of 2014-2016, which resulted in an unprecedented increase in banks’ NPLs due to the inability of oil companies to pay back loans. He said:

Many DMBs learnt from the crude oil price crisis of 2014-2016. During the oil boom, financing Oil and Gas was seen as more profitable. Therefore, banks put a huge percentage of their loan portfolios in that sector. Recently, banks have learnt to diversify into other sectors such as manufacturing and export. Focusing on financing short- term trade transactions rather than long term transactions has helped.

“More so, CBN’s recent focus on financing the real sector by increasing LDR to 65%, has seen banks lend more in recent times. This has increased the gross loans, with reference to the last MPC communique. And as you may know, the higher the increase in gross loans (as compared to Increase in NPL) will also reduce the NPL ratio.”

Will the reduction in NPLs determine banks’ decision to lend in 2020?

Achara stated that he does not believe that the reduction in the NPL ratio will affect banks decision to lend more really. This is because the decision to create risk assets is generally a business decision. In other words, such decisions are entirely dependent on the business strategy each bank wants to adopt. Different banks have their different risk appetites, he said. He, however, noted that Nigerian banks have a major role to play in ensuring that the economy recovers from the negative impacts of COVID-19.

[READ ALSO: Nigerian banks broadly positive after Naira devaluation)

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On the other hand, financial expert and Nairametrics’ economic commentator, Kalu Aja, believes that Nigerian banks’ loan forecast is negative going forward. He said:

The forecasts going forward look negative with oil prices below $30. The Federation has failed to diversify forex earnings… Import substitution via border closure has been uncoordinated and non-eeffective.”

You may download the NBS report by clicking here.

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Twitter to establish its first African presence in Ghana

Twitter has announced Ghana as headquarter of its operations in Africa.



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Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc has announced today in a tweet that the company is establishing a presence in Africa.

“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you, Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo,” Dorsey tweeted.

As part of its mission to serve the public conversation, Twitter is making it easier for everyone to join in and provide more relevant experiences for people across the world.

Why Ghana as a choice…

Twitter stated that it chose to expand to Ghana first because the country is an advocate of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet.

In a blog post the company said, “In line with our growth strategy, we’re excited to announce that we are now actively building a team in Ghana. To truly serve the public conversation, we must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent.”

“Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.

“Whenever we enter new markets, we work hard to ensure that we are not just investing in the talent that we hire, but also investing in local communities and the social fabric that supports them. We have already laid foundations through partnerships with Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Afrochella in Ghana, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) in Nigeria, and The HackLab Foundation in Ghana. As part of our long-term commitment to the region, we’ll continue to explore compelling ways we can use the positive power of Twitter to strengthen our communities through employee engagement, platform activation, and corporate giving,” Twitter stated.

The company is also looking to hire specialists to join several teams to operate in product, design, engineering, marketing and communications.

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Reacting to Dorsey’s announcement, Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, in a tweet said that the government and people of Ghana welcome welcomed the micro-blogging site.

“The choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is excellent news. Government and Ghanaians welcome very much this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country,” President Akufo-Addo tweeted.

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Youths need critical skills to strengthen Nigerian economy – Bankers Committee’s FITC

Nigerian youths need to embrace adequate skills and create a pool of well-engaged workforce to directly strengthen the nation’s economy.



Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC)

Bankers Committee’s FITC has called on Nigerian youths to embrace adequate skills and create a pool of well-engaged workforce to directly strengthen the nation’s economy.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director, FITC, Chizor Malize, during the launch of its Future of Work Academy for Youths on Monday.

According to her, the initiative is to continuously bridge the knowledge gap in the country and Africa at large, as it is expected to equip the youths for the peculiar needs of the Future of Work.

It also seeks to solve the prevalent issue of producing university graduates with degrees and skills that have limited practical use in the current global job market, as well as the requirements for the Future of Work.

She said, “The world of work is changing rapidly, and competition for the right talent is fierce. Graduate talents have for decades been primarily identified and employed based on academic excellence, however, in the emerging world of work, creativity, innovation, and work-ready skills have become the non-negotiable indicators for competitive advantage, and to evaluate capabilities.

“It is therefore important for youths to build critical skills, that will equip them for the requirements of the Future of Work in the ever-evolving business landscape. The value FITC FOWA is bringing to corporations at this time cannot be overemphasized. By equipping youths and creating a pool of well-engaged workforce for organizations, FITC FOWA will be directly strengthening the economy and the society in general.”

Malize added that the initiative offers essential courses in Data Science, Data Analytics, Coding, Digital Marketing, Graphics Designs, MS Excel & Analytics, Digital Marketing, Use of PowerPoint, and other key areas that have been strategically packaged to educate, enlighten, and upskill undergraduates and graduates with the vital skills for the Future of Work.

What you should know

Owned by the Bankers Committee (CBN, NDIC and all Nigerian deposit money banks), FITC was established in 1981 as a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee to provide capacity building and serve as a knowledge hub for the Nigerian Financial Services Sector.

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