About N400 billion bad debts outstanding in the banking sector is causing panic in the industry and most of the debtors are individuals who have the capacity to pay but have refused to do so.
Following this development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Deposit Money Banks in the country has concluded plans to publish the list of such debtors starting from August 1, 2015.
Mrs Tokunbo Martins, Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, who spoke to journalists on the outcome of the 322 Bankers Committee meeting in Abuja said that “You will recall that at the last Bankers Committee meeting, we discussed about publishing the names of serial debtors of banks.
“We discussed this again because of the fact that the date is drawing close. Last time we had the meeting, we said that there should be three months of grace to give the debtors the opportunity to put the facilities back to performing status.
“So, by the 1st of August, any debtor that hasn’t done so, the name will be published by the bank. So, the banks are encouraged to speak to their customers that fall into that category that they should put in more effort to pay off,’’ she said .
Martins said that the total credit currently in the system was between N13 and N14 trillion and about three per cent of it was non-performing.
She stressed that banks had an upper limit target of five per cent.
On the electronic banking space, Mr Phillip Oduzua, chief executive of UBA, said that 12.5 million customers had been enrolled on the Bank Verification Number (BVN) exercise.
“We believe that this is a substantial mileage that we have made and there is still room to close the gap knowing that the deadline for everybody to enrol is June 30th.
“In the event that any customer is not enrolled, it is possible that the customer may not be able to enjoy a lot of the banking services.
“As such, we will urge all customers of banks to enrol so that they would continue to enjoy unhindered services from the banks,’’ he said.
According to him, customers who fail to enrol may not enjoy credit facilities, foreign exchange services and internet banking, among others.
On cashless policy, Oduzua said with the progress made so far, the policy would be extended to every part of the country before the end of third quarter.
On the foreign exchange market, Mr Jubril Aku of Ecobank said that the committee reviewed the sector and would continue to partner CBN to meet legitimate needs of customers.