…Indicating Positive Economic Trend**Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
In our recent economic analysis, we scrutinized the latest money and credit statistics provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The data for 2023 exhibited a remarkable upsurge in total credit extended to the private sector, amounting to N62.52 trillion by December 2023. This marks a substantial 49.6% increase compared to the N41.74 trillion recorded at the conclusion of 2022.
The surge in credit to the private sector is attributed to various factors, including the resurgence of economic activity post-COVID, indicating a robust economic recovery. Despite prevailing high interest rates, major businesses demonstrated increased demand for credit, contributing to the growth in lending.
Throughout 2023, the CBN’s initiatives, such as the loan-to-deposit (LDR) policy and targeted intervention programs for sectors like agriculture and manufacturing, played a pivotal role in bolstering credit delivery to the private sector. Additionally, state-owned banks like the Bank of Industry contributed to the credit expansion through their lending activities.
A closer examination of the sectoral allocation of credit revealed that the services sector received the largest share, accounting for over 52%, followed by the industry sector with over 43%. However, the agriculture sector, despite being a priority sector for the CBN, received the smallest allocation, indicating persistent challenges in providing adequate credit to this vital sector.
Furthermore, credit extension to the government increased significantly by 36.6% year-on-year to N33.67 trillion in 2023. This increase followed a substantial decrease in the preceding year, underscoring the government’s heightened borrowing activity.
The growth in total credit to the private sector, surpassing N60 trillion, reflects a positive trajectory and underscores the confidence of deposit money and microfinance banks in the resilience of the private sector to drive economic activity and job creation. However, it is crucial to ensure that credit is channeled to productive sectors, and borrowers can service their loans amidst the high cost of funds. Continued efforts by the CBN to enhance access to finance for underserved sectors, particularly agriculture and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), remain imperative for sustaining economic growth and development.