On the issues that have discouraged banks from lending to the real sector as well as the Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) in the industry, Emefiele said measures would be taken to mitigate losses.
Providing update on the level of bad debts in the industry, the CBN boss said: “If you recall, the prudential is that banks should have maximum of five percent in NPLs. I must say at this time it is about 19 per cent on the average which is a significant improvement from where it was a year or two ago.
“About a year or two ago, it was close to 15 to 17 per cent and moderating to 10 per cent I would say is a substantial and significant and encouraging improvement in the level of NPLs.
“And I do think that with the steps that would be taken by the CBN to support the bank through administrative, legal and regulatory framework, that certainly we would see to it that NPLs are brought down so that deposit money banks can be encouraged to go back and begin to lend more aggressively to those sectors that they consider to be risky.”
Commenting on the MPC decision, an analyst at Ecobank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kunle Ezun, backed the decision of the MPC.
He, however, called for a reduction of the MPR at the next meeting to support real sector growth.
Speaking in a telephone interview, Ezun said: “For me, I think what the MPC did was the best thing by keeping the rate for 13.5 per cent points for the policy rate and keeping the asymmetric corridor at +200/-500 basis points.
“If you cut the rates in an environment where you have exchange rate as a monster, it becomes a big issue because the idea is that the rate becomes so low that people could get naira at a cheap rate to purchase forex. So keeping the rate at 13.5 per cent is the best in the interim.”
On his part, the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Nominees Limited, Mr. Akeem Oyewale, said: “From the information the MPC provided, it means that right now there is still need to observe the impact of the transmission mechanism of the recent cut in MPR earlier this year.
“They still want to observe the market. There are usually lags in cutting rates and the intended impacts in the economy. You could recall that the MPC just cut the MPR this year.
“The MPC is privileged to have access to a lot of information and in reaching the decision that it took, I believe that it must have been the optimal decision in the views of the MPC.
“The market likes stability, so if there is stability in the MPR, then investors can at least plan as against having massive swings in rates.”