Nigeria Bails Out More Banks

By Daily Graphic

Nigeria's central bank has had to bail out four more banks and has sacked three of their chief executives.

The rescued banks - Equitorial Trust, Bank PHB, Spring Bank and Wema Bank — have been given 200billion naira ($1.37 billion; £861million) in loans and support.

After an audit of their books, the central bank said they were 'adjudged to be in a grave situation'.

Central bank governor Lamido Sanusi has been cracking down on the biggest banks as he seeks to clean up the system.

Mr Sanusi, who only took office in June, has now completed an examination of all of Nigeria's 24 banks.

The regulator removed the heads of Equitorial Trust, Bank PHB and Spring Bank and appointed new management to run them.

It also said another bank, Unity, did not have sufficient capital but had enough to avoid being in a grave situation. In August, Mr Sanusi injected a total of 400billion naira into five banks - Afribank, Intercontinental Bank, Finbank, Oceanic Bank and Union Bank - after they were found to have very low cash reserves and fired their senior management.

They had run up bad loans totalling a collective 1.14 trillion naira. Four of the chief executives have now appeared in court charged with fraud.

The country's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said nearly $300million of bad debt had been recovered, but that billions were still outstanding.