The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed deposit money banks in the country to expedite action to increase their capital base from the current N25bn.

CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso stated this during the apex bank’s 294th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Tuesday in Abuja, when the MPC hiked the interest rate by 22.75 per cent to 24.75 per cent.

The apex bank chief said the MPC examined developments in the banking sector and expressed satisfaction that the industry remained stable. The committee, however, said to guard against risk, commercial banks in the country should accelerate their recapitalisation efforts.

Cardoso said, “The MPC also reviewed developments in the banking system and noted that the industry remains safe, sound, and stable. The committee thus called on the bank to sustain its surveillance and ensure compliance of banks with existing regulatory and macro-potential guidelines.

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“The MPC also enjoined the banks to expedite actions on the recapitalisation of banks to strengthen the system against potential risks in an increasingly globalised world.”

Last November, Cardoso, who assumed office two months earlier, had said commercial banks in the country would be directed to increase their capital base to service a $1 trillion economy ambition of the President Bola Tinubu administration.

The last time the CBN increased capital base for banks was in 2005, when the current Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo, was the apex bank chief. Capital base was raised from N2bn to N25bn.