Nigeria banks have solid liquidity ratios – CBN governor

Sanusi-Lamido03 December 2013, Lagos – The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has maintained that the nation’s commercial banks possess strong liquidity ratios.

A strong liquidity ratio is an indication that a bank’s current assets will be sufficient to meet the company’s obligations as and when due. Sanusi spoke at the 50th anniversary dinner and gala night of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, in Lagos at the weekend.

Attesting more to the strength of the banking sector, he said Nigerian commercial banks provided 80 per cent of funds for the acquisition of the power assets during the recent privatisation.

Besides, he said CBN had instituted a number of fundamental changes in the banking industry, such as the competency framework, to make sure that key operators in banks were highly qualified.

Speaking on the planned biometric system, Sanusi said: “In March next year, we are commissioning a centralised banking system where everyone using a bank account, those trading on the stock exchange, the pension and insurance industries, would have one centralised information through the biometric.”

On the declining rate of inflation in the country, the CBN governor explained: “In 2009, we had an inflation rate of 15.3 per cent. Now as at October this year, we had 7.8 per cent and we have kept inflation below 10 per cent from January till date. We intend to keep inflation below 10 per cent throughout 2014 and we hope that inflation in Nigeria would go down to the range of four to seven per cent in 2015.”

Sanusi added: “The first address I gave when I resumed office was in the middle of the banking crisis. Then the capital market had lost 72 per cent of its value, oil prices had crashed, many Nigerian banks where in heated situation and then I stepped in.

“I made a comment in 2009 that we would fix the banking crisis and that not a single depositor would lose a single penny in a Nigerian bank. So it is a matter of pride and satisfaction for me to stand before you after the resolution of the crisis and on behalf of my colleagues, congratulate all of them for going through this crisis without anyone losing money.”

The CBN governor reiterated that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would always consider stability in making decisions around the benchmark interest rate.

“I hear comments that every time we have MPC meeting, we would leave the rate at 12 per cent, I smile because that is what we want it to be. We want people to have an idea of what their salaries is going to buy for them, budget for your children’s school fees and not worry tomorrow about the naira. To us, stability is important,” he added.
*Nume Horsfall, Thisday

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