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Nigeria commercial Banks and discount houses operating in the country will this week publish the names of about 1600 customers whose loans have become non-performing reports The Punch.

According to the Paper, this follows the expiration of the July 31, 2015 deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria for banks and discount houses to publish the names of debtor-companies, their subsidiaries and directors in national newspapers.

The CBN had on April 22 directed the financial institutions to commence the publication of the names of their delinquent debtors from August 1.

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Banks and discount houses are to publish the list of the delinquent debtors in at least three national newspapers on a quarterly basis.

In line with the directive, banks gave chronic debtors a three-month ‘grace’ period, which expired on July 31.

Our correspondent learnt on Saturday that the number of delinquent debtors on the lists under preparation by over 18 banks and discount houses operating in the country range from 100 to over 300 names for each bank.

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The chief executive officer of a bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said at least over 1,600 names of delinquents were expected to be published by all the banks during the exercise.

“Going by what we can see across the industry, at least 1600 names are expected to be published by all the deposit money banks and a few discount houses,” the bank CEO said.

Officials of financial institutions confirmed to our correspondents on Saturday that they would publish the names of the delinquent debtors this week in compliance with the CBN directive.

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The spokesperson for First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Babatunde Lasaki, told one of our correspondents that the tier-1 bank would comply with the central bank’s directive by publishing the names of the debtors during the week.

“We will comply. We will publish the names this week; any time from Tuesday,” he said.

Also, the Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Mike Omeife, confirmed that the lender would comply with CBN’s directive, saying “we will publish this week.”

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Similarly, the spokesperson for Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa, said the bank would publish the names in line with the CBN’s directive but he declined to give the specific date.

Top bank officials said chief executives were busy fine tuning the list.

“We are fine-tuning the list. As of Friday, some customers were still coming to pay while a few others came to renegotiate. Over this weekend, we are drawing this final list which will be published on Tuesday,” the executive of a tier-2 bank told one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity.

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Meanwhile, the CBN on Saturday ruled out possible deadline extension on its directive to banks to publish the names of the debtors.

The Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Ibrahim Mu’azu, said there was no extension to the deadline.

As of last week, debtors were rushing to banks to renegotiate their loans.

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The CBN had in a circular dated April 22, 2015 gave the July 31 deadline, saying the decision was necessary in order forestall the spate of non-performing loans in the sector.

The CBN also warned banks against being used as conduit for the transfer of illicit funds and money laundering activities.

The bank in a statement issued at about 9:06pm on Saturday night by Mu’azu said the warning became imperative owing to a recent report by the Global Financial Integrity Group which ranks Nigeria as one of the 10 largest countries for illicit funds flows in the world.

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The group in the report estimated that about $15.7bn (N3.09trn) of illicit fund goes through the nation’s banking system annually.

But the CBN in the statement said although it had not done an independent assessment of the assertion of the group, it stated that the bank would step up vigilance in order to ensure that Nigerian banks are not used as conduit for illicit funds flow, especially in foreign currency.

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