Banks recover N39.4bn non-performing loans from ICT sector

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Nigerian banks recovered N39.4bn non-performing loans from its debtors in the Information and Communications Technology sector in one year.

As of September 2019, the NPL in the ICT sector stood at N76.54bn as against N115.94bn in the corresponding period of 2018, an analysis of statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics has shown.

This figure represents 33.9 per cent of the total bad debts the ICT companies owe Nigerian banks.

In situations where the interest on a loan or principal had not been paid for more than 90 days, such facility is regarded as a non-performing loan.

According to the NBS figures, by April 2019, bad debt in the sector had declined to N75.98bn and it rose to N77.21bn by June 2019.

The latest statistics indicated that the NPL in the sector was N76.54bn.

The ICT sector is one of the several sectors that commercial banks have successfully recovered some of their bad debts.

Others sectors in which operators have paid back a significant percentage of their NPLs are mining and quarrying, manufacturing, real estate, general commerce as well as transport and storage.

The finance and insurance, power and energy, capital market and oil and gas sectors, among others, are also involved.

The ICT sector has enjoyed access to credit facilities from the financial institutions, recording a total of N2.63tn in one year.

In one year, the credit given to operators in the sector had been on a steady rise.

According to the NBS data, the ICT firms received financial support to the tune of N545.498bn from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019.

Credit to the ICT sector rose by 8.2 per cent from the N545.498bn in Q4 2018 to N590.274bn in the first quarter of 2019.

By June 2019, the sector received a credit boost of N689.204bn, representing a 16.76 per cent increase in credit from the previous quarter.

By the end of September 2019, credit facilities valued at N811.144bn was extended by commercial banks to the ICT sector, recording a 17.69 per cent increase from the previous quarter.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, in its Revised Draft Guidelines for the banking sector, directed all banks to review their credit portfolio at least once in a quarter in order to recognise deterioration in credit quality.

Speaking on challenges facing the industry, the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Mr Olusola Teniola, said foreign currency required to import equipment for capital intensive projects by technology companies wasz not accessible.

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