Debtors Africa – an independent searchable database of recalcitrant and delinquent debtors in Africa was at the weekend unveiled in Nigeria.
In addition, a Debtors’ Report – a comprehensive analysis of the Debt/Non-Performing Loans Situation in the Nigerian Banking Industry was also presented to members of the public.
The report which was done in partnership with Proshare, represents a culmination of a detailed review of the credit experiences of local Nigerian banks in the last two decades and revealed the challenges of a local lending cycle that has seen lenders become victims of the tyranny of bad and delinquent debtors.
The report makes a case for a new approach to the lending cycle to ensure that integrity, professionalism and evidence-based best lending practices are strictly followed to guarantee the sustainability of the financial system and the prosperity of the larger economy.
The report covers the banking industry and its debt position; definition of a delinquent debtor and how this has changed over the years including how banks end up with bad debtors; the sectors and regions affected and the impact on Gross Domestic Product as well as provisions of the law as regards credit collection and recovery in Nigeria.
Similarly, it is covers AMCON approach, lessons learnt, and the way for banks to adopt a revised credit recovery framework; case study of approaches adopted in recovering debt; and fresh methods as well as new approach to banks troubled by delinquent debts.
“The Debtors Africa Website is a searchable database of delinquent borrowers which enables speedy assessment of the character of a prospective customer.
“Of equal importance is that investors can use the database as a starting node for assessing the quality of the management of a business they intend to either partner or invest in.
Over the years, the names of delinquent debtors have been published on various media platforms with no central portal to harness the information published or achieve the objective creditors desire, which is repayment and resolution,” the promoters explained in a statement.
It noted that with DebtorsAfrica, the new model provides a central hub to access this information and goes beyond, “naming and so-called “shaming” to informing prospective creditors and other institutions that require character validation, while name removal from the database is subject to the review and removal by the contributor after debt resolution is attained.”
It added: “Unlike the days when banks published their delinquent debtors list on online digital platforms in which they had no control of content update, modification and removal , the DebtorsAfrica platform puts the burden on creditors who are expected to take the action of delisting themselves further to showing proof of resolution, such that it also serves as an independent check on contributors who may choose to delist a debtor based on mutually agreed terms of settlement .
“The emerging global economy requires more credit but it also requires more confidence in the credit-to-debt-to-credit loop. The stronger the integrity and the deeper the financial resources that support the loop the better the financial system and economy becomes.”