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Skye Bank, Sterling Bank Lose N18bn To Bad Loans

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Skye Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc have recorded net loss of about N18 billion as provisions for classified loans ate deep into profitability. Audited report and accounts of the two banks for the 12 month period ended September 30, 2009, showed that the two banks altogether recorded exceptional items totaling N45 billion as provisions and write downs for bad loan assets.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has insisted that all banks must fully disclose and make adequate provisions for non-performing loans, a directive that has seen many banks account in the red.
Skye Bank’s report showed a net loss of about N13.3 billion in 2009 as against profit after tax of N15.13 billion in 2008. Pre-tax loss stood at N12.63 billon in 2008 compared with pre-tax profit of N20.45 billion in corresponding period of 2008. The bank, however, expanded the top-line by 36 per cent with gross earnings of N101.45 billion in 2009 as against N74.62 million in 2008.
In the same vein Sterling Bank recorded net loss of about N4.6 billion in 2009 as against net earnings of N6.58 billion in 2008. Pre-tax loss had stood at N4.35 billion in 2009 compared with profit before tax of N7.98 billion in 2008. Sterling Bank also reported marginal increase in gross earnings from N36.30 billion in 2008 to N37.77 billion in 2009.
Both banks indicated that provisions for bad loans adversely affected their performance during the period. Skye Bank indicated that it recorded an exceptional item of N34.18 billion while Sterling Bank reported exceptional item of N10.83 billion. Both Skye Bank and Sterling Bank have been cleared as sufficiently in stable condition for sustainable operations by the recent audits of the CBN. The apex bank had on August 14, 2009 cleared Sterling Bank Plc in the first batch of the industry-wide audit, the same day it took over and replace the management of five banks adjudged to be in grave situation.
The first batch of troubled banks include Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank International Plc, Afribank Nigeria Plc and Finbank Plc. The CBN on October 2 released the report of the second batch of its special examination giving nine banks including Skye Bank clean bill of health while taking over the management of three other banks. Two other banks were given deadlines to recapitalize their operations.
The nine banks that were cleared included Access Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Limited Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Limited and Zenith Bank Plc. All the Public Limited Liability Companies are quoted on the NSE. The apex bank stated that Unity Bank, another quoted bank, was adjudged to have insufficient capital but not in grave situation because it has a healthy liquid position. Both Unity Bank and Wema Bank have been directed to recapitalize their operations by June 30, 2010.
The apex however, took over the management of three other banks including Bank PHB Plc, Spring Bank Plc and Equitorial Trust Bank, bringing to eight total number of banks under the management of CBN appointed management.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, has blamed banks for huge concentration of their exposures to the stock market and oil and gas sector, poor corporate government and depleted capital.

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Senate Confirms Cardoso, 11 Others As Monetary Policy Committee Members 

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The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Olayemi Cardoso as the chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Also confirmed for appointment as members of the MPC yesterday, include, Muhammad Abdullahi, (CBN deputy governor), Bala Bello (CBN deputy governor), Emem Usoro (CBN deputy governor), Philip Ikeazor (CBN deputy governor), Lamido Yuguda, (DG Securities and Exchange Commission) and Jafiya Lydia Shehu, (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance).

Others are Murtala Sabo Sagagi (CBN director) Aloysius  Ordu, Aku Odukemelu, Mustapha Akinwunmi, and Bamidele Amoo.

President Bola Tinubu had on Wednesday named Cardoso as the chairman and 11 others as members of the MPC.

Tinubu in his letter of nomination to the Senate, said his action was in line with the provisions of Section 12 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007.

The President had about a week ago asked the Senate to confirm Cardoso, as the chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee of the apex bank.

CBN MPC will hold its first policy meeting for the year on February 26 and 27.

The Senate had , on Wednesday, screened the nominated members of the CBN Monetary Policy Committee, questioning them on the lingering foreign exchange and food crises.

 

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‘Unemployment Rate Hit 0.8% In 2023 Q3’

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The unemployment rate in Nigeria rose by 0.8percent in the third quarter of 2023.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), this was a significant rise, adding that the unemployment rate rose from the 4.2percent recorded in Q2 2023 to 5.0 percent in Q3 2023.
The NBS, the custodian of official statistics in the country, disclosed this in a report it published last Monday titled “Nigeria Labour Force Survey Q3 2023”.
“The employment-to-population ratio was 75.6 percent in Q3 2023 with a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to a ratio of Q2 2023.
“The combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3percent in Q3 2023 from 15.5percent in Q2 2023.
“About 87.3 percent of workers were self-employed in Q3 2023. The proportion of workers in Wage Employment in Q3 2023 was 12.7 percent.
“The unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 percent. This is an increase of 0.8 percent from Q2 2023.
“The rate of unemployment among persons with post-secondary education was 7.8 percent in Q3 2023”, the report stated in part.
It added that the unemployment rate for youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years was recorded at 8.6 per cent in Q3 2023 while the informal employment rate in Q3 2023 was 92.3 per cent.
The report added, “The unemployment rate in urban areas was 6.0 percent percentin Q3 2023, a slight increase of 0.1 percent from Q2 2023.
“Time-related underemployment in Q3 2023 was 12.3 percent, showing a slight increase of 0.5 percent from the rate recorded in Q2 2023. This shows an increase of 1.4 percent compared to the rate in Q4 2022.
“4.1percent of the working-age population was in subsistence agriculture in Q3 2023. Informal employment rate in Q3 2023 was 92.3percent, while Q2 2023 was 92.7percent.
“Percentage of youth Not in Employment, Education or Training was 13.7percent in Q3 2023”.
Recall that Nigeria’s inflation rate last Thursday climbed to 29.90 per cent in January 2024 from 28.92 per cent recorded in the previous month.
The 0.98 percent increase shows that the inflation rate in the country is yet to slow down.
The NBS revealed this in its ‘Consumer Price Index’
The development adds more pressure on the Central Bank’s monetary policy committee to sharply raise interest rates at a February  26-27 meeting its first in seven months.

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Merchant Navy Lauds NIWA Over Staff Welfare

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The Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO/WTSSA) has expressed optimism that the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mr. Bola Oyebamiji, will prioritise workers welfare for optimal performance of the agency.
Jibril Darda’u, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, NIWA, in a statement over the weekend, disclosed that the seafarers’ union’s remarks are one of the highlights of the meeting between the Trade Union Congress (TUC) affiliate group and management of the agency.
The statement quoted the Chairman of the NMNO/WTSSA, Comrade Suleiman Danjuma, as commending the Managing Director of NIWA for the good initiative of the kind of interaction that brings the staff closer to the management.
“This will definitely boost the morale of the staff and pledge their loyalty and confidence in the Managing Director’s leadership style”, Danjuma stated.
Earlier, the Managing Director of NIWA promised to build on the progress already achieved at the Lokoja River Port, Kogi State.
The MD disclosed this when he went on a familiarisation tour of NIWA’s facilities in Lokoja.
According to the MD, the importance of Lokoja River Port being in the confluence State is to boost the economic viability of the State and Nigeria at large.
“We are here for facility tour to see for ourselves what is on ground at Jamata Port, Lokoja. It is important we come here to assess the facilities to see, at least, how we can move the facilities forward”, he stated.
Recall that in continuation of his familiarisation tour, the Managing Director’s visited the NIWA Lokoja Area office to inspect the Dockyard facilities.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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