1.1 BACKGROUND O THE STUDY
Nigeria banking sector has experienced a boom-and-burst cycles in the past 20 – 25 years. After the implementation of the structural adjustment programme (SAP) in 1986 and de-regulation of the financial sector, new banks proliferated mainly driven by attractive arbitrage opportunities in the foreign exchange market (Heiko, 2007), but prior to the de-regulation period, financial intermediation never took off and even declined in the 1980s and 1990’s (Capirio and Klibiel).
The sector was highly oligopolistic with remarkable features of market concentration and leadership but noted that there are ten banks that control more than 50% of the aggregates assets of the bank banking sector, more than 51% of the aggregate deposites.
The sector characterized by small scale banks with higher overheads, low capital base averaging less than $10 million, heavy reliance on the government patronage and less making. Nigeria banking sector was still characterized by a high degree of fragmentation and low level of financial intermediation up to 2004.
This research work is motivated by the need to look into the central bank (CB)’s recent reform (Capitalization) that employed certain measures to strengthen the Nigeria banking system by drastically increase the minimum capital requirement from N2 billion of N25 billion ($190 million US). Through review of relevant literatures, analysis of policy documents official report and economic information on the banking sector, it became evident that the capitalization of bank led to a remarkable reduction in the number of banks from 89 to 25 by merge, acquisition, initial public offer and other means. The research work concludes that bank capitalization has resulted in making bank more efficient and reliable and also, their intermediary potentials have also been revised.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Recapitalization of the Nigeria banks which started in 2004, has been a great advantage to the Nigeria economy. Before that, there were many Nigeria banks that had weak capital bases. This resulted in frequent bank burst and the low capital requirements also meant that important men could and did not set up public banks which they ran with total disregard for the minority shareholders. Banks on their own could not carry their primary function of lending because of liquidity problem. This therefore put the economy in adverse economic and financial problem. Banks at this time were running at in increase lending rate between 25 – 27%, thereby making credit to the real sector difficult. Industry operators attributes this to high operating cost occasioned by decay infrastructure. The implication is that the prices of goods and services are on the rise with lower disposable income. Consequently producers are facing resistance from consumers who have cut down significantly on consumption. This development poses a serious problem to the bank lending as they need to grow their loan portfolio to be able to compete with emergency market peers.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
Bank capitalization will go a long way in enhancing economic growth in Nigeria and also in the banking and financial sector of the nation.
Hence, the fundamental objective of this study are:
- To asses the implication of capitalization on the banking industry
- To examine the impact of capitalization on Nigeria banks
- To asses the state of Nigeria banks before capitalization
- To identify the benefits of bank capitalization
- To identify the effect of bank capitalization on Nigeria, economy at large.
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