• As non-performing loan stood at 6.01 per cent
The total banking sector’s credits rose by N774.28 billion in December, hitting N25.02 trillion at the end of the year.
The non-performing loans (NPL) ratio also increased to 6.01 per cent the same month from 5.88 per cent it was in November. The NPL ratio was above the five per cent prudential maximum threshold in December.
These were contained in the communiqué of the first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held from January 25 to 26, 2021. The communiqué was released yesterday.
The statement noted that “banking sector gross credit as of end-December 2020 stood at N25.02 trillion compared with N24.25 trillion at the end of November 2020, representing an increase of N774.28 billion.”
The aggregate domestic credit, the report revealed, moved up by 13.4 per cent in December as against the 9.48 per cent increase recorded the previous month. It attributed the growth to the CBN’s policy on the loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) as well as its interventions in different sectors of the economy.
According to the apex bank, its total disbursements under the COVID-19 intervention programmes stood at N2 trillion as of January.
It stated: “Under the Bank’s real sector interventions, under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), N554.63 billion had been disbursed to 2,849,490 beneficiaries since the inception of the programme, of which N61.02 billion was allocated to 359,370 dry season farmers.
“In light of the on-going synchronized efforts by the monetary and fiscal authorities to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank has committed a substantial amount of money towards this objective. Indeed, total disbursements as of January 2021 amounted to N2 trillion. COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) meant for household and small businesses, wherein we have disbursed N192.64 billion to 426,016 beneficiaries.”
It added that N106.96 billion has so far been disbursed to 27,956 beneficiaries under the Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) just 73 projects have benefited from the healthcare support facility, receiving a total of N72.96 billion.
The beneficiaries, it stated, comprised 26 pharmaceutical projects and 47 hospital and healthcare services projects.
The communiqué noted that there was a 10.97 per cent growth in broad money supply in December compared with 5.02 per cent expansion witnessed in November. This, said the report, was driven majorly by the growth in net foreign assets (NFAs) and net domestic assets (NDAs).
The report expressed concern about the fast inflation rate which has recorded month-on-month growth for 17 consecutive months. It, however, noted that the inflation rate would moderate as the economy improves and production picks.
“The committee urged the bank to sustain its current drive to improve access to credit to the private sector while exploring other complementary initiatives, in collaboration with the Federal Government, to improve funding to critical sectors of the economy. During the period under review, money market rates remained low, reflecting the prevailing liquidity conditions in the banking system. Overall, the monthly weighted average Open Buy Back (OBB) rates declined further from 1.13 per cent in November 2020 to 1.09 per cent in December 2020,” the report said.