Banking Industry in Nigeria

5028 Words Dec 21st, 2010 21 Pages
THE BANKING INDUSTRY AND THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY POST-CONSOLIDATION
By B. B. EBONG GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR/CHIEF EXECUTIVE UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC ABSTRACT Against the backdrop of the role of banks as financial intermediaries and their function as the engine of growth of the economy, this paper examines the extent to which the banking industry has helped to stimulate economic activities in Nigeria and what the prognosis looks like in the post-consolidation era. The paper notes that the banking industry in Nigeria witnessed a remarkable growth in terms of deposit base, number of branches, total asset and volume of loans and advances, especially since the de-regulation of the financial services sector in the last quarter of 1986. However,
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Furthermore, banks act as a conduit for the transmission of monetary policy. They provide a veritable platform when it comes to the implementation of monetary, credit, foreign exchange, and other financial sector policies of the government. Among other things, monetary policy is designed to influence the cost and availability of loanable funds with a view to promoting non-inflationary growth. The instruments available to the Central Bank to achieve this include open market operations (OMO), the cash reserve ratio (CRR), liquidity ratio (LR) and of course, moral suasion. The capacity of the banking industry to perform these functions effectively is, to a large extent, determined by the financial health of the individual institutions themselves and soundness and viability of the industry as a whole. For instance, where the majority of banks are adjudged to be weak and unhealthy, that will impair the ability of the industry to lubricate economic growth and vice versa. Against this background, the objective of this presentation is to examine the extent to which the banking industry has helped to stimulate economic activities in Nigeria and what the prognosis looks like in the post-consolidation era, come January 2006.

To achieve its objective, this paper is organised into five parts. Following this introduction, we review the performance of the
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