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1.0   Introduction

Credit generally denotes loans and advances made either directly or indirectly by a creditor (lender) to a debtor (borrower) on the principles of different payment. The banks as a lender, provides credit facilities by making funds available to customers in agreed terms and condition of payment. The gain of this credit to the bank is supposed to be huge profit instead of this over the year, modern banks (particularly commercial banks) have been recording huge amount of bad debt provision which increase with each consecutive.

The term credit is the granting of money (loans) and advances to borrowers with the general expectation that they would honour their obligation to repay the fund with or without interest when due.

Credit is the means by which we are able to obtain immediate benefit of goods and services upon the promise of payment at a future date.

One of the main reasons for obtaining credit is that money which is our recognized unit of exchange is kept in relative short supply and although we may have enough credit for those items which we require but can not immediately afford and as these problems is not confined to individuals. A banks objective is to make money and one of the methods used to achieve this is by loans.

However, loans are only granted to those whom they have every confidences in and then as often as not, demand some form of security. The motive for leaning money is therefore to acquire profit for themselves and not out of favour to the customer. Although, we are not able to adopt such stringent attitudes, our motives for granting credit must be the same.

It is however, dishearten to note that not withstanding the level and magnitude of impact that the banks have on economy in terms of importance which is unarguably immense. Whenever money is always certainly a risk of not getting it back from such customers. It is this (non-payment of loan) that has made it necessary for this research to go into the area of credit management.

The impact of effective credit management as a process is very essential for banks because poor credit revaluation leads to poorly unstructured loans facilities that reduce the profitability and liquidity of the bank.

1.1 Historical Background of the Case Study

First bank of Nigeria Plc is a leading banking institution in Nigeria with over a hundred years of banking experience, founded in 31st march1894 by a shipping magnate from Liverpool, sir Alfred Jones. It commenced as a small business bank in the office of elder Dampster and co. in Lagos. Today, first bank of Nigeria Plc has diversified into a wide range of network of banking activities and services including commercial, merchant and international banking. And  has become appetent factor in the development of the country.

It was incorporated as Limited Liability company in London, with it’s head office in Liverpool under the corporate name “Bank of British West Africa; with a paid up of twelve Thousand Pounds sterling (£12,000) it commenced business after it had absorbed it’s predecessors assets in the African banking of the pre-eminent position which the bank was established in the ban king industry in west Africa.

The bank in it’s early years grew rapidly working in close corporation with the colonial government in performing the traditional roles of a central bank.

In 1896, a branch was opened in Accra, Gold coast (now Ghana) while another was established in Freetown sierra Leone in 1898. This marked a milestone in bank’s internationally banking operations thereby justifying it’s west African coverage operationally.

The second branch in Nigeria was situated in the old Calabar in 1900 and two year later, it’s services had extend to Northern Nigeria with a branch network of 291 in 1996 spread throughout the federation, including London. The bank has the highest number of branches in the banking industry.

The banking has experience a phenomenal growth over years with a share capital of 55.6 million in 1980, which rose to N68.4 million in 1995, the bank’s total assets currently stand at N69.82 million, supported with a deposit based of N41.641 million.

When the bank began operation in 1894, it has a staff of six composing of 3 Europeans and 3 African today, the bank is virtually fully Nigerianlized. This of course has been the result of planning responsiveness of the yearning of the Nigeria people and government as well as the banks determination to identify with the aspiration of the country in it’s march towards national development.

As a result of corporate policy to divas it’s portfolio of non-core activities and in order to meet the bank of England’s regulatory requirement the banks foreign partners, the standard chattered banks of Africa Plc, have  reduced their shareholding to 9.9% following the offer of 120.941.195 share to the Nigerian public, thus bringing the equity holdings by Nigerian to 90.1%.

The bank has maintained its leadership in financial long-term loan to the colonial government. To day, the banks boast of a diversified loan portfolio to various sectors of the economy. The banks rural banking record is unmarked by army bank’s while its agricultural credit facilities through the community farming loan schemes have given the common man and farmers a tremendous access to the much needed bank credit.

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