The Director of Banking Supervision of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Tokunbo Martins, has said the Bank and Bankers’ Committee have decided to publish the names of the chronic debtors along with those of their board of directors in national dailies in order to reduce the rate of Non Performing loans in the Deposit Money Banks
The apex bank had reached this decision at the 321st Bankers Committee meeting last week in Lagos.
The committee said CBN would henceforth bar chronic bank debtors from accessing foreign exchange at the interbank market.
Mrs. Martins said these measures were meant to checkmate the growing volume of non-performing loans, which presently stand at 13 trillion out of which 3.5 percent has been declared bad.
The Director BSD added that the bankers committee was taking a proactive step to avoid the recent situation where a lot of toxic loans in the financial industry were so high that AMCON had to be created to mop them up.
She further stated that despite the economic condition, the Central Bank in collaboration with the Banker’s Committee had been able to ensure that the banking industry was safe and sound.
In her own contribution, the Managing Director/CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Mrs. Bola Adesola, said the CBN was stepping up its awareness on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Developments Fund (MSMEDF), which was launched by the apex bank in September last year to give Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs’) access to cheap fund at a lower rate.
She noted that only 20 percent of the N220 billion MSMEDF had been disbursed so far, adding that the CBN would be training bankers and MSME’s operators on how to access the fund in the six geo-political zones.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Union Bank Plc, Mr. Emeka Enuwa, also revealed that the committee had concluded plans to cut down the limit to the amount DMB’s customers would be allowed to withdraw with their debit cards when they travel abroad.
He said the use of naira debit cards abroad was costing banks a lot of FOREX, hence, the need to reduce the amount customers would be able to draw down.
The current annual drawdown is $150,000 per customer but Emuwa did not specify the amount it would be slashed to.
Fielding questions on the foreign exchange market, the Director BSD said the foreign exchange market had been safe, sound and stabilized, and was already moving towards a near convergence of rates in the various segments.
She attributed this to the positive action taken in the past by CBN and the Banker’s Committee.