Banks strategise for further capitalisation, says Sanusi



Jul 27, 2010 By Emma Ujah


Central  Bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said, yesterday, that deposit money banks in the country were strategizing towards a new phase of strengthening their capitalization.Sanusi who spoke at a meeting with the Vice President, Global Industries, of the International Finance Corporation, IFC, Jyrki Koskelo, said that besides the 10 banks that had to be bailed out and at the forefront of fresh capital injection, other banks in the industry were working to shore up their capital base either through acquisition of others or mergers.


The CBN governor who said this would be purely self-driven, also disclosed that over N130 billion had been released to the Bank of Industries, BOI, for onward disbursement to the SMEs through designated banks.Sanusi said CBN was perfecting strategies by which it would encourage banks to invest in small and medium scale enterprises, SMEs, adding that banks would play a key role in the N500 billion infrastructure fund meant to assist the real sector of the economy.


Release of funds

Only recently, BOI said that it had screened and approved 130 firms to draw from the fund, stating that the CBN would go through the approval and release the funds.He revealed that N200 billion would be disbursed to the SMEs before the end of the year.


On the 10 troubled banks, Sanusi said discussions were on with investors, adding that bids for prospective core investors of the banks had already been submitted and were receiving attention.These bids, he assured, would be properly handled by the apex bank as they would go through due diligence at the end of which preferred and reserved bidders would be declared, for each bank.


The governor said the CBN was working with the IFC to reduce the strain on the Assets Management Company, billed to take off in a matter of months.Mr. Koskelo, in his remarks, noted that banks in every country needed support from institutions such as the IFC, adding that the Corporation would continue to work with the CBN and banks to ensure that the sector maintains a balance on the long run.


He said: “Our role is to be supportive of what the CBN is doing; we are going to engage in other transactions in the Nigerian economy to especially strengthen the banks and have a strong economy in Nigeria.“One important thing is to fix the banks and the CBN is doing that very well. I must admit, we will encourage the banks to invest more in SMEs, power, health, agribusiness and infrastructure.


We are sponsoring risk management, good corporate governance and we will have to encourage the private sector to invest in power because the CBN or government alone cannot do it. There must be a policy in place for that as well.”





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