The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected N7 trillion into the economy as loans in three years, it was learnt yesterday.
CBN Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, dropped the hint at the 40th anniversary summit of the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) in Lagos.
Significant developments, she said, had brought discussions about Africa’s potentials back to the forefront.She stated that the financial system, just as it was in mapping the economic recovery route from COVID-19, would be critical in realising Africa’s enormous potentials.
Mrs. Ahmad stated that the CBN, under the management of Governor Godwin Emefiele, was committed towards an inclusive growth and LDR policy which had been positive, adding that N7 trillion in retail loans was an unequalled record.
She said: “Over the years the CBN has tried to ensure that we drive lending to the real sector. You would agree with me that the policy under Governor Emefiele over the last few years, has really emphasised on this, not only in terms of intervention funds given but in terms of some of the policies put in place, such as loan to deposit ratio (LDR) which when we instituted it in 2019 till now actually added about N7 trillion or so in loans, and which is quite unprecedented.”
Concerning the banking industry’s stability, Mrs. Ahmad stated that all metrics and indications indicated that the banking system was strong, stable, and had aided Nigeria’s recovery.
She added: “We’re very positive about the resilience and the soundness of the banking sector. You see the reports as we give them from time to time from the MPC. Actually, the banking system has been very strategic in support of the recovery based on the impact of COVID.
“Some of the forbearances that we granted to the banking sector has helped to ensure they retain their capacity to lend and it has helped them give succor to their obligors and we are seeing some obligors come out of that forbearance now.
“The financial soundness indicators have been very strong on capital, liquidity, and we’re very proud and we just want to continue to ensure that the bank system continues to provide lending, not just wholesale or commercial lending but to small business because that will be the engine of the economy.”
She also said that Africa, a diverse continent of 54 countries, boasting one of the youngest populations around the world and with thriving economies, rich with enormous and diverse talent, material, and natural resources should be well-positioned to deliver prosperity, create wealth and higher living standards for its over one billion citizens.
Mrs. Ahmed said: “However, we are yet to fully realise and harness this potential. The problems and idiosyncratic challenges have been well documented.
“Notwithstanding, there is significant room for our continent to leverage the bright spots, particularly the digital transformation and technology innovation being witnessed in the economy and financial ecosystem to foster more prosperity and reduce income inequality.”