Lagos, Nov. 25, 2023: The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it is planning to implement a new round of banking recapitalization in the country.
Mr Olayemi Cardoso, CBN Governor, announced this at the 58th annual bankers’ dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), on Friday night in Lagos.
The planned recapitalization means that Deposit Money Banks will be required to raise additional capital to meet the demands of Nigeria’s economy.
Cardoso noted that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration in his Policy Advisory Council report on the national economy, had set an ambitious goal of achieving a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $1 trillion over the next seven years, with clearly defined priority areas and strategies.
According to him, it is important that banks have a role to play in the anticipated $ 1 trillion economy by 2030.
To achieve the target, Cardoso said that Nigeria needed to experience a more rapid and inclusive economic expansion than it has in the past.
“The administration has already commenced this journey through fiscal reforms, including the removal of petrol subsidies and the unification of the foreign exchange market rate.
“Considering the policy imperatives and the projected economic growth, it is crucial for us to evaluate the adequacy of our banking industry to serve the envisioned larger economy.
“It is not just about the stability of the financial system in the present moment, as we have already established that the current assessment shows stability.
“However, we need to ask ourselves: Will Nigerian banks have sufficient capital relative to the financial system’s needs in servicing a $1.0 trillion economy in the near future? In my opinion, the answer is “No!” unless we take action.
“Therefore, we must make difficult decisions regarding capital adequacy. As a first step, we will be directing banks to increase their capital,’’ he said.
The CBN governor also announced the approval of another round of Open Market Operations (OMO) to mop up excess liquidity from the banking system.
OMO are a type of monetary policy tool used by central banks to influence the money supply and interest rates.
Cardoso said, “An OMO auction was recently held with a stop rate of 17.5 per cent for the one-year tenor, attracting oversubscription of N350 billion.
“Another round of OMO has been approved to further reduce excess liquidity.
“Offering N108.1 billion worth of Treasury Bills with three tenors to the investing public, which can help reduce liquidity in the banking system and support government fundraising.’’
The CBN governor further said that the apex bank would use its monetary policy tools to keep inflation low and stable.
He said, “the Central Bank of Nigeria is committed to achieving monetary and price stability. This is not just a technical objective, but it has real-life implications for the well- being of our citizens.
“Through targeted policies, transparent market operations, and coordination between monetary and fiscal authorities, we can ensure a more stable exchange rate, control inflation, and create an enabling environment for businesses and individuals to thrive.’’
He noted that the apex bank had taken steps to improve the effectiveness of its monetary policy tools and to strengthen the transmission mechanism so that its policy decisions have a greater impact on the economy.
He added that the ability of the monetary policy committee to influence the economy through its decisions had been weakened because the channels through which monetary policy was transmitted had become disrupted.
The CBN governor said also said that the apex bank was planning to make changes to the country’s foreign exchange (FX) regulations by developing new guidelines and legislation.
He added that banks and foreign exchange operators would be consulted before making any final decisions.