GOVERNMENTS’ CREDIT SHRINKS, PRIVATE SECTOR’S RISES TO N25.8TN
Banks’ credit to governments shrunk by13.41 per cent in October to N9.05tn from N10.45tn reported in September, the Central Bank of Nigeria has disclosed. On the other hand, credit to private sector hit N25.8tn in October, according to Apex Bank. With N25.8tn, commercial bank lending to real sector, the year-till-Date performance revealed that credit to private sector improved by 12.42per cent in 2019 while the year-on-year performance rose by 11.49 per cent.
The Apex Bank in its money and credit statistics explained that credit to private sector opened the year with N22.95tn and hit the N25tn threshold in September. Our correspondent had reported that the credit to private sector in September hit N25.47tn following the regulator’s drive mandated commercial banks to raise lending to real sector of the nation’s economy.
The money and credit statistics of the CBN revealed that banking sector credit to private sector rose by 2.61 per cent to N25.47tn in September from N24.82tn in August. Credit to the governments in August stood at N9.45tn.
This reduction in lending to the government came on the heels of single-digit yield on government securities and CBN policy on Loan-to-Deposit of 60 per cent and later 65 per cent. Specifically, the stop rate for the 91-day tenor on Treasury bills towards the end of October dropped to 9.73 per cent against its opening figure of 11.4 per cent.
This was just as the 182-day tenor instrument tailed off to 11.02 per cent towards October ending compared to the 12.31per cent it had attracted in the primary market auction in October. Things were not significantly different at the longer end of the market where the yield rate on the 364-day tenor equally nosedived to 12.99 per cent in October.
An economist, Dr Vincent Nwani, said low yield on government securities continued to discourage banks’ lending to government. He said, “The total share of banks’ credit to government is about eight per cent. Government has realised that the cost of loan is high and government does not have much money to service local debt.
“The CBN was forced to reduce yield on government securities (Treasury bills and bonds) to a single digit, which makes government securities less attractive.” Analysts had said the 65 per cent Loan-to-Deposit policy of the CBN continued to increase commercial banks’ credit to the private sector. In a bid to drive lending to key sectors, the CBN directed all banks to achieve a minimum of 65 per cent LDR by the end of December 2019.
Nwani said the LDR policy of the CBN had impacted on credit to the private sector. According to him, commercial banks in the country are heavily lending to the real sector in a move to avoid sanctions from the CBN. He explained that the oil and gas, followed by Information Communication Technology were the most benefited sectors from credit to the private sector policy of the CBN.
Nwani said, “Moving beyond the total credit to the private sector, let’s ask where these credit is going to. “You will find that about 22 per cent of the total credit to private sector is still flowing into oil sector, followed by ICT. I think the third one now is manufacturing sector. “The CBN will need to look at how to enforce banks to push out more credit to manufacturing and agriculture sectors to drive job opportunities and grow the economy at a faster pace.” The Chief Economist/Head of Research, Pac Research, Mr Moses Ojo, also attributed the growth to 65 per cent LDR policy.