The banks are restructuring 41 per cent of loans after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) placed a moratorium on interest charges and principal debt repayments to cushion the blow of lower oil prices and fallout from the coronavirus.
Loans worth N7.8 trillion ($20 billion) to 35,640 customers are being reorganised out of N18.9 trillion in credit across the industry, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said yesterday. Twenty-two of the lenders are involved in the transactions, he added.
“If the CBN did not ask the banks to grant these forbearance to their customers, the loans will go bad immediately by our prudential ratios,” Emefiele said.
He spoke after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to hold the benchmark interest rate at 12.5per cent.
The CBN would be more comfortable if 65 per cent of loans were being restructured, he said.
A lockdown to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, a drop in oil prices and rampant dollar shortages have dealt a blow to the economy of Africa’s largest crude producer, hindering the ability of borrowers to repay their debt.
The ratio of non-performing loans to total credit improved to 6.4per cent in June from 11.1 per cent a year earlier, while the industry’s average capital adequacy ratio stood at 15per cent from 15.2 per cent previously, Emefiele said.