Being address by Mallam Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, on developments in the banking system in Nigeria
As we are all aware, the world economy has been hit by the repercussion of the financial meltdown that started with the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States of America and spread to Europe and other parts of the world. This crisis has led to the collapse of many banks and other financial institutions, and even rendered an entire nation bankrupt.
In Nigeria, the banking system appears to have weathered the storm due to a number of factors. Among these are the facts that our financial system is not strongly integrated into the international financial system, as well as the relatively simple nature of financial products and strong capitalisation and liquidity of Nigerian banks.
However, there are many who have been aware for a while now that whereas the system in general is likely to absorb and survive the effects of crisis, the effects vary from bank to bank. A few Nigerian banks, mainly due to huge concentrations in their exposure to certain sectors (capital market and oil and gas being the prominent ones ) but due to a general weakness in risk management and corporate governance, have continued to display signs of failure.
As far as October last year, some of the banks showed serious liquidity strain and had to be given financial support by the Central Bank in the form of an “Expanded Discount Window” (EDW), where the CBN extended credit facilities to these banks on the basis of collateral in the form of Commercial Paper and Bankers’ acceptances, sometimes of un doubtful value
As at June 4, 2009, when I assumed office as governor of the CBN, the total amount outstanding at the Expanded Discount Window was N256.571 billion, most of which was owed by the five banks.
A review of the activity in the EDW showed that four banks had been almost permanently locked in as borrowers and were clearly, unable to repay their obligations. A fifth bank had been a very frequent borrower when its profile ordinarily should have placed it among the net placers of funds in the market. Whereas the five banks were by no means the only· ones to have benefited from the EDW, the persistence and frequency of their demand pointed to a deeper problem and the CBN identified them as probable source of financial instability, most likely suffering from deeper problems due to nonperforming loans.
The impact of the situation of these banks was being felt by the market in different negative ways. Because of this strain in their balance sheets, the banks pushed up the interest rate paid to private sector deposits and their competitors had to follow suit. They also contributed to the destabilisation of the interbank market as many of their competitors were unwilling to take an unsecured risk on them. It was primarily because of these banks, or at least some of them, that the CBN took the step of guaranteeing the inter-bank market when it stopped granting new lines under the EDW. Without that guarantee, almost four banks would not have been able to borrow in the inter-bank and would probably have collapsed.
As you are aware, we guaranteed the inter-bank market to give us the time to conduct thorough diagnostic of the’ banks and ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken. At least, four of the banks in question have since the guarantee came into force either remained heavy users of funds at the EDW or drawn heavily from other banks under cover of the CBN guarantee to wind-down at this window. In all events, it is clear that they do not have the ability to meet their obligations to depositors and creditors as they are in a grave situation.
In view of the aforementioned circumstances, I instructed the Director of Banking Supervision of the CBN to carry out a Special Examination of the following five banks: Afribank Plc Finbank PIc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc and Union Bank Plc.
The examination was conducted by a joint team of CBN and NDIC officials. The major findings on the five banks included:
Excessively high level of nonperforming loans in the five banks which was attributable to poor corporate governance practices, lax credit administration processes and the absence or non-adherence to the bank’s credit risk management practices. Thus the percentage of non-performing loans to total loans ranged from 19 per cent to 48 per cent. The five banks will therefore need to make additional provision of N539.09 billion.
The total loan portfolio of these five banks was N2,801.92 billion.
Margin loans amounted to N456.28 billion and exposure to Oil and Gas was N487.02 billion.Aggregate nonperforming loans stood at N 1,143 billion representing 40.81 per cent.
From 1 and 2 above, it is evident that the five banks accounted for a proportionate component of the total exposure to Capital Market and Oil and Gas, thus reflecting heavy concentration to high risk areas relative to other banks in the industry. The huge provisioning requirements have led to significant capital impairment. Consequently, all the banks are undercapitalised for their current levels of operations and are required to increase their provisions for loan losses, which impacted negatively on their capital. Indeed one is technically insolvent with a Capital Adequacy Ratio of (1.01 per cent). Thus, a minimum capital injection of N204.94 billion will be required in the five banks to meet the minimum capital adequacy ratio of 10 per cent.
5. The five banks were either perennial net-takers of funds in the inter-bank market or enjoyed liquidity support from the CBN for long periods of time, a clear evidence of illiquidity. In other words, these banks were unable to meet their maturing obligations as they fall due without resorting to the CBN or the inter-bank market. As a matter of fact, the outstanding balance on the EDW of the five banks amounted to N 127.85 billion by end of July 2009, representing 89.81 per cent of the total industry exposure to the CBN on its discount window while their net guaranteed inter-bank takings stood at N253.30 billion as at August 02, 2009. Their Liquidity Ratios ranged from 17..65 per cent to 24 per cent as at May 31, 2009. (Regulatory minimum is 25 per cent).
It is important to note that at least three of the banks are systemically important (accounting for more than 5 per cent of Assets and Deposits in the Banking System) and together, the five banks account for 39.93 per cent of loans, 29.99 per cent of deposits, and 31.47 per cent of total assets as at May 31, 2009.
Given the extent of the asset quality problem leading to liquidity stresses, and the variety of stress points on the banks’ balance sheets, failure to act to secure the financial health of these banks will clearly place the system at risk. The Central Bank has a responsibility to act to protect all depositors and creditors and ensure that no one loses money due to bank failure. The bank also needs to move decisively to remove this principal cause of financial instability and restore confidence in the banking system.
Consequently, having reviewed all the reports of the examiners and the comments of the Directors and Deputy Governors, 1 am satisfied that these 5 institutions are in a grave situation and that their managements have acted in a manner detrimental to the interest of their depositors and creditors. Therefore, in exercise of my powers as contained in Sections 33 and 35 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 1991, as amended, and after securing the consent of the Board of Directors of the CBN, I hereby remove the Managing Directors and the Executive Directors of the following banks from office with effect from Friday, August 14, 2009.
1. Afribank Plc
2. Intercontinental Bank Plc
3. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc
4. Oceanic International Bank-Plc
5. Finbank Plc
These persons forthwith cease to be directors and officers of their respective banks.
The Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria has also appointed the following as the MD/CEOs of the affected banks:
1. Mr John Aboh – MD/CEO Oceanic International Bank Plc.
2. Mr Mahmud L. Alabi – MD/CEO Finbank Plc
3. Mr Nebolisa Arah – MD/CEO Afribank Plc
4. Mrs. Suzanne Iroche – MD/CEO Finbank Plc.
5. Mrs. Funke Osibodu – MD/CEO Union Bank Plc.
Each of the above will head a management team that will include executive directors and Chief Financial Officers to be appointed by the CBN. This team is tasked with continuing the business of the banks as a going concern. I, therefore, appeal to the Boards of the affected banks, in their own of interest, to cooperate with the newly appointed executive management.
We are conscious of the fact that changing management alone will not resolve this problem. Consequently, the CBN is injecting a total of about N400 billion into these five banks with immediate effect in form of Tier 2 Capital to be repaid from proceeds of capitalisation in the near future. This injection is sufficient to resolve and stabilise all the institutions and enable them continue normal business. The injection of fresh capital by the CBN is temporary measure as government does not intend to hold the shares for long and shall divest its holdings as soon as new investors recapitalise these banks.
Let me also advise all debtors of Nigerian banks, that the CBN and all government agencies are united in our commitment to support the recovery efforts of the banks. Debtors who do not pay shall have their names published in national newspapers” in due course and we will solicit the support of law enforcement agencies in recovery.
Let me reassure especially the customers of the affected banks and all the banks in general that there is no cause for alarm. They should continue to transact their normal business in the banks where their accounts are domiciled as this exercise is meant to further strengthen the banking industry and recapitalise the affected banks.
I should also state at this point that the scope of the Special III Examination was widened to cover all 24 banks. So far, we have Id concluded the audit of 10 banks at including these five, the others being Diamond Bank, First Bank, United Bank for Africa, Guaranty a Trust Bank and Sterling Bank. We have also commenced the next s. batch of 11 banks and hope to conclude them by end of August. i5 All in all, we expect to conclude the al audit in mid-September. The Central d, Bank is requiring all banks “to make appropriate provisioning for non-performing loans and disclose them.
We hope that by the end of this quarter, all banks would have ;e cleaned up their Balance Sheets. On 4, the basis of the information available to us so far, we are confident that the banking system is safe and sound and we have dealt with the major sources of systemic risk.
I will conclude by restating that, to going forward, the CBN will not waiver in its desire to ensure that public confidence in the Nigerian of banking system is maintained through appropriate disclosures le and the reinvigoration of its policy of zero tolerance on all professional and unethical conducts.
We will not allow any bank to fail. However, we will also ensure that officers of banks and debtors who contribute to bank failures are brought to book to the full extent of the law and that all proceeds of infraction are confiscated where legally feasible.
CBN Gov Approves Charter On Ease Of Doing Business
Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Olayemi Cardoso, has approved the CBN’s reviewed Service Charter.
A statement from the CBN, midweek, said the service charter is a requirement of the Business Facilitation Act 2022 for driving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“It also enables the Bank to fully comply with the directives of SERVICOM Nigeria (The Presidency) on improvement of customer service delivery.
“The charter outlines how the bank promises to work with its external customers in meeting their expectations of service along with what the Bank expects from them”, according to the statement.
It stated that the Governor reiterated the Bank’s commitment to providing more responsive and citizen-friendly governance through quality service delivery that is efficient, accountable and transparent.
According to the CBN, “The document clearly outlines the Bank’s mandates, vision, mission, and core values. It contains the list of services offered by the Bank through its various departments and the service standards for each service.
“The service charter also includes a standardised Customer Complaints Form for reporting service failure as well as a mechanism for addressing service failure in any of the Bank’s services”.
Bayelsa, NCDMB Task Youths On Skills Acquisition, Opportunities
The Bayelsa State Government has charged youths across the Niger Delta states to leverage on skills acquired to eke out a meaningful living.
The State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, gave the charge Tuesday in Yenagoa, the state capital, at the Youth session of the 2023 edition of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) annual Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) programme.
Diri, represented by the State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Dr Bralate Daniel Igali, noted that though conventional education is needed in most cases to enable job seekers get better placements in organisations, skill acquisition is inevitable in the contemporary world.
He tasked the youths not to relent in self development, noting that as participants in the fora organized for their development, youths must not just be listeners and participants, but should seize those opportunities to make judicious use of their potentials.
“Over the years, youths have participated in several empowerment and vocational training programmes, but it seems many aren’t taking such opportunities seriously.
“As youths, you must endeavour to make maximum use of knowledge and skills acquired to develop yourself and become a responsibly, productive citizen.
“I charge you not only to be listeners and participants in the lectures and training the NCDMB and others would be giving you today as part of their 2023 PNC programme, but to strive to derive the greatest benefit from it”, Governor Diri said.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, called on youths to take advantage of the various empowerment and employment opportunities made available by the board.
Represented by the General Manager, Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordination of the NCDMB, Mrs Angela Okoro, Wabote stated that the rationale behind the forum was to inform youths about activities of the board, noting that the annual programme enables participants benefit from various opportunities provided in the oil and gas sector.
He called on participants to register on the NCDMB’s NOGIC JQS portal to be qualified for training, contracts and other available opportunities.
In her presentation on the prospects of the ongoing NLNG Train-7 project, the Coordination Lead of the Project, Dr. Rachael Tamunoso Ibibam, said there were numerous opportunities in the project.
She said the Train-7 Project comes with new development opportunities that will generate about 12,000 jobs and increase Nigeria’s revenue earnings, as well as provide sufficient LPGs for the local Nigerian market, noting also that the project is 54% completed.
“I want to commend the NCDMB for promoting and encouraging Nigerian businesses. I would like to call on you, participating youths in this forum, to register with the NCDMB as vendors to be qualified to execute contracts in the Train-7 project”, she said.
Delivering a paper on conflict management skills at the programme, a Resource Person, Dr. Patterson Ogon, called for collaborative efforts between and amongst individuals to resolve conflict at home and in the workplaces.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Five Multinationals Exit Nigeria In 10 Months
An analysis of separate notices filed by five multinational firms has shown that the five multinationals have winded down operations in Nigeria in the last 10 months.
On Wednesday, Consumer goods giant, Procter & Gambles, disclosed that it would dissolve on-ground operations in the country.
Chief Financial Officer of the group, Andre Schulten, stated this during his presentation at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference.
The company said it was difficult to do business in Nigeria as a dollar-denominated organisation and the macro-economic reality in Nigeria is responsible for its latest strategic decision.
Schulten said, “The other reality that arises in some of these markets is that it gets increasingly difficult to operate and create U.S dollar value.
“So, when you think about places like Nigeria and Argentina, it is difficult for us to operate because of the macro-economic environment.
“So, with that in mind, we are announcing a restructuring programme with the intent to adjust the operating model and adjust the portfolio to ensure that we maintain the portfolio discipline that has brought us to this point.
“The restructuring programme will largely focus on Nigeria and Argentina. We’ve announced that we will turn Nigeria into an import-only market, effectively dissolving our footprint on the ground in Nigeria and reverting to an import-only model”.
The company joins a growing list of multinationals set to exit Nigeria in 2023, following the footsteps of Unilever, which is the first Multinational to announce that it would fold up operations in Nigeria in 2023.
In March, the company had said changes in its business meant it had to exit its home care and skin cleansing categories from Nigeria.
The announcement meant that famous brands such as Omo, Sunlight and Lux, which many Nigerians had become accustomed to, would no longer be on retail shelves.
The company’s decision to end production in Nigeria is connected to increased financial difficulties occasioned by the continued devaluation of the naira, among others.
President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Francis Meshioye, told The Tide’s source that some international manufacturing firms had already exited Nigeria as a result of the power crisis, coupled with the unpredictability of the country’s foreign exchange rate before it was recently unified.
He said the N144bn spent on alternative energy sources by manufacturers in 2022 impacted adversely on the operations of his members.
In July, barely a month after Meshioye’s warning, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, the country’s second-biggest drug producer, announced it was halting manufacturing operations in Nigeria.
According to a statement published on the Nigeria Exchange, GSK Plc (Headquartered in the UK), which owns a majority stake in the Nigerian unit, said it will appoint third-party distributors to sell its prescription medicines and vaccines in the country.
GSK’s consumer-health arm, Haleon Plc, also informed GSK Nigeria of its “intent to terminate its distribution agreement in the coming months” and appoint a third-party distributor.
GSK also said it planned “an accelerated cash distribution and return of capital” to minority shareholders.
No reason was given for the company’s exit, though the company had in the past raised concerns about the scarcity of forex which made it difficult to maintain supplies of its pharmaceutical and vaccine products in Nigeria.
Last month, Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical multinational, announced its exit from Nigeria.
The company said it had appointed a third-party distributor to handle its commercial portfolio of medicines from February 2024.
While the company’s Country Manager, Folake Odediran, had described the decision as a strategic move driven by the company’s commitment to continually improve access to medicines, the company’s financials indicated that operating in Nigeria had been a tall order.
Shortly after Sanofi’s announcement, Bolt Food announced that it had made the difficult decision to discontinue its food delivery operations in Nigeria due to business reasons.
According to a statement by the company, the decision was borne out of the need to “streamline its resources and maximise overall efficiency”.
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