The total gross domestic credit in Nigeria increased from N15.56 trillion in May 2019 to N18.90 trillion as at June 2020. This was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria via a communique issued on Thursday.
The document, which included the personal statements of members of the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), stated that the credit was stimulated by the policy on Loan-to-Deposit Ratio (LDR).
Kingsley Obiora, Deputy Governor, CBN, explained that the credits were driven especially by demands from the manufacturing sector, consumer credit, general commerce, information and communication, and agriculture, among others. He said:
“Under the circumstances, the financial system has maintained a sound and stable position, following effective interventions by the CBN.
“Short-term interest rates continue to suggest some surfeit in the system with average Open Buy Back (OBB) and inter-bank call rates rising to 5.75 and 11.31 percent in June 2020, from 5.22 and 5.80% in May 2020, respectively.
“Non-performing loans (NPLs) decreased to 6.4% at the end of June 2020, compared to 9.4 percent in the corresponding period of 2019, reflecting recoveries, write-offs and disposals.”
He, however, added that despite the improvements, the economy continued to face significant headwinds to a robust recovery, as the number of COVID-19 cases exceeded 36,000 cumulatively, and continued to rise..
“The headline inflation rate increased slightly to 12.56% in June from 12.40% in May, with food inflation at 15.18%.
“Furthermore, 87% of households owning non-farm businesses have highlighted difficulties in raising money for their enterprises,” he added.
Obiora stated that it was clear that the economy faced an uncertain path, with long-lasting consequences for the livelihoods of many.
The decisive efforts of governments and central banks across the world have provided a strong foundation for the current recovery. However, it would be remiss to assume that the crisis is now over, especially as there remain many unknowns regarding the virus.