Nigerian banks are investing heavily in modern banking services. Banks that have met the new capital requirements are expanding their branch networks and alternative service-delivery channels such as ATMs. The number of ATMs was 3,676 in 2007, up from 1,426 in 2006. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the volume of transactions was 15,731,630 and the volume of mobile payments was 903,067 in 2007. The CBN’s assessment of the health of the banking sector showed that the system was sound, as indicated by the banks’ aggregate ratings at end-December 2007. The average Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of the banks was consistently high—above the stipulated minimum of 10%—while asset quality, as measured by the ratio of non-performing loans to total loans, stood at 8.4% at end-December 2007.In June 2008, citing inflationary pressures brought about by the distribution of excess crude revenue, the CBN raised the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 100 basis points, to 4%.In 2007 (the latest available data), the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) released a list of 49 insurance firms that complied with the newly enforced minimum-capital requirements. One of the largest insurance companies by gross premium income, NICON, did not make the list, and the company was subsequently suspended.The National Assembly has raised Nigeria’s crude-oil benchmark, Bonny light, to US$59 in 2008, up from US$40/barrel in 2007 and US$35/b in 2006. With world oil prices beyond US$125/b in early June, the approved base-oil price is relatively modest, though there is some concern about the impact on Nigeria's oil output of a militant insurrection in the Niger delta.In February 2008, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the introduction of an e-Allotment system, which allows for shares to go into investors’ accounts automatically through the Central Securities and Clearing System. In the first half of 2008, the SEC introduced e-dividend and e-bonus systems.


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