Minimal Growth in Private-Sector Lending

July 5, 2017
Interbank Lending Rate

By FBNQuest Research

Credit is one of the several inputs in short supply in Nigeria. Private-sector credit extension at end-2016 represented just 21.9 percent of GDP, compared with 75.0 percent in South Africa. Nor is there impressive growth to suggest that the gap is narrowing.

CBN data from a different series to that shown in our chart highlight an increase of 19.4 percent y/y in December in naira terms: we should note, however, the large share allocated to the oil and gas sector and the weight of those loans denominated in forex. The increase would otherwise have been negligible.

One aim of monetary policy in 2016 was to persuade the deposit money banks (DMBs) to boost their lending to what the CBN termed job-creating and productive sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. Neither lectures nor incentives worked.

DMBs’ lending to agriculture has risen from about 1 percent to about 4 percent of their total loan books over three years.

This will not bring about the rapid growth in agro-industry underpinning the FGN’s strategies of import substitution and economic diversification, and explains why the CBN has launched three subsidised credit schemes for the sector in the past decade.

 In February the average prime and maximum lending rates of the DMBs were 17.1 percent and 29.3 percent.

At the time, FGN bonds were yielding more than 16 percent and longer tenor NTBs more than 22 percent.

Faced with this choice and allowing for the sizeable risk attached to most credit applications from the real economy outside the blue chips, it is little surprise that the DMBs have accumulated very large positions in FGN paper.

Until those yields retreat substantially and credit applications improve, we do see not much change.

Source: FBNQuest Research

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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