The Director, Banking Supervision Department, CBN, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, stated this while briefing journalists shortly after the 322nd Bankersâ€™ Committee meeting, which was held at the central bankâ€™s headquarters in Abuja. She was accompanied to the briefing by the Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Phillips Odouza; Managing Director, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Henry Semenitari; and Managing Director, Ecobank Plc, Mr. Jubril Aku.
Apart from the issue of non-performing loans, other matters discussed at the meeting were the biometric registration of bank customers, liquidity of the foreign exchange market and the credit culture within the banking system. On the issue of NPLs, Martins said the August 1 date was chosen for the publication of the names of debtors because it would mark the end of the three-month grace period given by the CBN for the debtors to service their debts with DMBs. She said in a bid to ensure the stability of the financial system, there was a need for the central bank, in collaboration with the DMBs, to keep the non-performing loan portfolio at a minimal level. For instance, Martins said the banking sector currently had a total loan portfolio of between N13tn and N14tn, noting that about three per cent of this were non-performing. Going by this figure, the total non-performing loans of the banking sector are in the range of between N390bn and N420bn. She said, â€œIf you recall, at the last Bankersâ€™ Committee meeting, we spoke about publishing the names of serial debtors of banks. We discussed that again and the fact that the date is drawing close. â€œLast time when we had the Bankersâ€™ Committee (meeting), we said that there should be three months of grace to give the debtors the opportunity to bring their facilities back to the performing status. â€œSo, by August 1, any debtor that hasnâ€™t done so, the names will be published by the banks. So, the banks are encouraged to speak to their customers that fall into that category that they should put in more efforts to pay up their loans.â€