Nigeria’s monthly import bill hit a record of N2.28tn at the end of the first quarter of 2021, according to a report by a management and financial consulting company.
The report was presented by the Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Limited, Dr Biodun Adedipe, during a forum organised by finance reporters on Thursday in Lagos, with the theme ‘Nigerian banking sector in retrospect and outlook for second half 2021.’
The report said, “With a monthly import bill of N2.28tn (6.02bn) in Q1 2021, liquid external reserves of N32.85bn (July 9, 2021) represents 5.45 months, which is below the minimum threshold of six months for stability (twice below benchmark ’11 month’ required for an economy in crisis). Reserves dampened by -6.43 per cent as at July 9, 2021.”
According to the report, the banking sector demonstrated effective marketing over the last five years.
It said Nigerian banks had been very liquid in the last five years, especially in the last two years as it more than doubled liquidity ratio.
It said with loan-to-deposit ratio averaging 70.4 per cent, the banks were below prescribed maximum, adding that above this, they would be deemed to be overtrading.
According to the report, the banks have the room to expand lending, but it has a challenge on how the lending environment can be de-risked, especially lending to small and medium enterprises.