“Send your account number”—Nigerians’ favourite thing to hear. Banks have become so embedded into our society that sometimes we often forget their importance and crucial role. Most times, it’s when we can’t make transactions or access our funds we start raining curses on them, hoping that’ll make them act right.
However, banks play a critical role in the broader economy too. Their most basic function, mobilising funds from those that need to stash their money away (savers) to those that don’t have enough to execute their plans (borrowers), sits at the heart of capitalist economies.
This is why we hear that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issues various reforms. Some include the banking sector consolidation in 2004, adopting IFRS 9 and Basel II&III accounting principles/standards etc.). All of these reforms were to ensure this crucial organ keeps on running smoothly; imagine all the veins and arteries in your body drying up all at once—Avada Kedavra!
So you can picture my face when I discovered that the oldest bank in Nigeria—First Bank of Nigeria Holdings (FBNH), is barely holding its head above water. Worse, this is happening just months after a two-year-old bank (Titan Trust) acquired Nigeria’s second oldest bank (Union Bank).
Does this signal that Nigerian banks are in trouble,