The total assets of N43.7 trillion for Nigerian banks as at June this year is low, the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has said.
Soludo said this was when compared to the banking sector in some other countries.
Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the 2019 Nigerian Banking Sector Report Monday, THISDAY NEWSPAPER quotes the former CBN governor saying:
“When we started, it was just about N1 trillion, before the banking consolidation. So, if you look at it from where we were before the consolidation, it was a massive change.
“But the banking total assets and all we say about their size are still too small. Let us look at where we are, in terms of the size, in comparison to African countries, in terms of ranking of banks’ asset size as a percentage of GDP.
“I was shocked to find out that our banks are far low, even by African standard. Countries such as Cape Verde, Mauritius, Kenya, Senegal and Ghana are much higher than us,” Soludo explained.
He added: “So, seeing the banking and financial sector and the kind of economy that we want to be able to have – we have a dream of Nigeria becoming Africa’s financial and banking centre.
“Now that we are actually integrating Africa to have a continental free trade area, what kind of banking and financial system do we really need to be able to move this economy, which is the largest in Africa?
“The question is what should be the next level for the banking sector? And what should be the type of disruptive changes that need to occur, to be able to move the sector, to that level that it would be able to power the Nigerian economy and increasingly, the African economy.
“So, in this new world that is evolving, what kind of banking sector do we need to see in the five to 10 years?”