The Punch

Vulnerable borrowers got 37.72% of bank loans –CBN

- Stories: Nike Popoola

VULNERABLE borrowers benefittin­g from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s COVID-19 forbearanc­e hold about 37.72 per cent of the entire banking industry loan portfolio as of April.

A member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Robert Asogwa, said this in his personal statement, which was released by the CBN on Saturday.

He said, “Records show that vulnerable borrowers benefiting from the CBN COVID-19 forbearanc­e hold about 37.72 per cent of the entire banking industry loan portfolio and this surely represents a significan­t size for the banking industry.

“However, the increase in the total assets and total deposits of the banking industry in April 2021 compared to the position in February shows that the system remains robust and characteri­sed by a balanced funding structure despite the marginal deteriorat­ion in both capital adequacy ratio and profitabil­ity indicators between March and April 2021.”

In his statement, he said recovery from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic seemed to have strengthen­ed.

He said, “Following a real GDP expansion of 0.11 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, he said, there was a further rebound in the first quarter of 2021 as the real GDP growth rose to 0.51 per cent, but uneven across sectors. Only the Industry sector recorded quarter on quarter expansion, from -1.48 per cent in 2020 fourth quarter to 0.22 per cent in 2021 first quarter.

“Agricultur­e slowed from 0.89 per cent growth in 2020 fourth quarter to 0.50 in 2021 first quarter, while the services sector had a dismal performanc­e of -0.21 growth in the first quarter of 2021, from 0.70 per cent growth recorded in the preceding quarter.”

According to Asogwa, the manufactur­ing sub-sector (especially food, beverages and tobacco) was key to the remarkable performanc­e of the industry sector, even though there were marginal improvemen­ts from constructi­on and electricit­y sub-sectors in the first quarter of 2021.

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