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Bank distress is a phenomenon which involves poor liquidity, under capitalization, maturity obligations of deposits, excessive growth (over – trading) and lack of regulation, supervision and politicization. The phenomenon surfaced in the Nigerian Banking system in 1930 when about twenty one (21) banks failures were recorded prior to the establishment of the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1958, resumed in the fifties and nineties and in recent times has re-surfaced.(CBN 1968, Anyahuru 2001). This study was carried out in order to identify the causes of repeated bank distress and its effects on the Agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy and to identify ways of preventing future occurrence. The study involved ten banks from Abuja the Federal Capital Territory using well structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were employed in the presentation of the data while the Chi – Square(X2) figures was adopted for the purpose of data analysis. The result of the study shows that the major causes of bank distress in Nigeria include poor quality management, bad loans and advances and fraudulent practices. The effects of such distress are bank ruins, demonetizations and erosion of public confidence among others. The vital conclusion drawn from the study is that whereas it is not possible to have distress – free banking system, it can be reduced or managed such that the pains of distress can be spread. The responsibility for sound banking practice rests squarely on the management, the board and the government. It is therefore expedient to adopt a resolution strategy that will help to ensure a stable banking system and engender public confidence in the industry.


1.1             Introduction
Financial service industry such as financial institutions, instruments and market plays a crucial role in the development process of a country. The basic economic activity of the financial sector is intermediation, that is, acting as a conduit for the efficient transfer of resources from net service to net borrowers. This process engenders an increase in capital accumulation through institutionalization of savings as well as investment. The gains to real sector of the economy depend on how efficiently the financial sector performs this basic function of financial intermediation.
In the financial sector, the major channel for mobilizing saving is the banking system which mobilizes financial resources from surplus spending economic agent or allocation to the deficit spending units. In addition, banks serve as channels, for implementing monetary policies. But banks like other business, carry the risk of bankruptcy with depositor losses capable of undermining public confidence in the banking system. The macroeconomic setbacks that such loss of public confidence could precipitate included disintermediation, depletion of money stock, slow, ex cetera.
The country witnessed a rapid growth of indigenous banks between the period of 1947 and 1952. The increases in the number of indigeneous banks were followed by a high rate of failures of such banks. By 1954, twenty one (21) out of twenty five (25) indigenous banks operating in nigeria had collapsed.


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