Understanding CBN’s Recent Mandate for Bank Recapitalization: Implications for Nigerian Economy


CBN Mandates Bank Recapitalisation: What It Means for the Economy

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The recent announcement of another round of bank recapitalization by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was not entirely unexpected, given previous hints from CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso as far back as November 2023. At the 58th Annual Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Cardoso highlighted the ambitious goal of achieving a $1 trillion GDP over the next seven years under the Tinubu administration. He stressed the need for Nigerian banks to have sufficient capital to support such economic growth, prompting the decision for recapitalization.

Outlined in the CBN circular dated March 28, the new minimum capital requirements are set at N500 billion for banks with international authorization, N200 billion for commercial banks with national authorization, and N50 billion for banks with regional authorization. Additionally, merchant banks must maintain a minimum capital of N50 billion, while non-interest banks need N20 billion for national authorization and N10 billion for regional authorization.

The move comes after significant changes in the economy and banking sector since the seismic recapitalization of 2004, which saw a reduction in the number of banks from 84 to 25. Over the past two decades, economic cycles have occurred alongside evolving complexities in the operational environment of banks. The issue of capital adequacy has become crucial, especially considering the depreciation of the national currency. President Tinubu’s GDP target of $1 trillion over the next seven years has added urgency to the latest round of recapitalization.

Unlike the uniform capitalization of N25 billion imposed in 2004, banks now have the flexibility to choose their scope of operation, whether national, regional, or international. However, it’s essential to recognize that recapitalization is merely a means to an end. Lessons from the 2004 exercise emphasize the importance of professionalism and adherence to global best practices, beyond just size.

The CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission must ensure strict compliance with regulations to prevent abuses such as credit guideline violations, toxic loans, and insider trading, which marred the previous recapitalization. The focus should not only be on banks’ profitability but also on their contribution to the overall health of the economy. Ultimately, the success of the recapitalization efforts will be judged by their impact on promoting economic well-being and stability.

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Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samsonhttp://ThisDayLive.com
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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