EFFECT OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ON PROFITABILITY OF LISTED DEPOSIT MONEY BANKS IN NIGERIA


EFFECT OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ON PROFITABILITY OF LISTED DEPOSIT MONEY BANKS IN NIGERIA  

ABSTRACT

Although an enormous body of literature has emerged concerning the nexus between corporate social responsibility and profitability, actual empirical research designed to test the multitude of definitions, propositions, concepts and theories that have been advanced has produced mix results. In addition, much of the research done in the area has been incomplete and simplistic in methodology and epistemology. Many of the methodological quagmires in studying the nexus between corporate social responsibility and profitability stem from the fluid nature of the subject. With the increased concentration on the corporate social responsibility, firms are not only required to focus narrowly on generating profit returns for shareholders, but also asked to take responsibility for firms‘ other stakeholders. Hence, both having a decent social responsibility performance and adding profitability is significant for companies to achieve sustainable success in the long-term. This study therefore examines the effect of corporate social responsibility on the profitability of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria. It uses panel data from 14 listed deposit money banks over a period of 10 years (2006-2015) and tests for statistical significance using analysis of variance and multiple regression analysis. The results show that corporate social responsibility has significant and positive effect on net profit margin, return on total assets and return on equity, which were used to proxy for profitability. The study concludes that corporate social responsibility has positive and significant influence on profitability. The study recommends that banks should continue to invest in corporate social activities as much as practicable because they result into long run increase in profitability. Also, bank managers should leverage on social responsibility expenditures by ensuring that they are linked to profitable operations.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page Page

i

Declaration ii

Certification iii

Approval page iv

Dedication v

Acknowledgements vi

Table of Contents vii

List of Tables xi

List of Figures xii

List of Appendices xiii

Abstract xiv

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study1

Statement of the Problem8

Statement of Research Questions11

Objective of the Study12

Research Hypotheses12

Scope of the Study13

Significance of the Study13

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction15

Conceptual Framework15

Corporate Social Responsibility15

Net Profit Margin22

Return on Total Assets23

Return on Equity24

Firm Size25

Leverage25

Interest Rate26

Theoretical Review27

The Classical View27

The Socioeconomic View27

Theory of Maximized Profits for Shareholders28

Stakeholders Theory29

Good Corporate Citizens Theory29

Minimum Requirement of Morality Theory29

Theories of Corporate Social Disclosure30

Social Accounting and General Systems Theory30

Legitimacy Theory31

Political Economy Theories32

Rationality Theory of Corporate Social Responsibility33

Empirical Literature Review34

Corporate Social Responsibility and Net Profit Margin34

Corporate Social Responsibility and ROA and ROE36

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

Introduction39

Population and Sample Size of the Study39

Model Specification40

Variables Definition and Measurement41

Methods of Data Collection42

Data Analysis Techniques42

Diagnostic/Post Estimation Tests43

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

Introduction44

Descriptive Statistics44

Diagnostic Tests Results45

Multicollinearity45

Serial (Auto) Correlation47

Heteroskedasticity47

Stationarity49

Hausman Specification Test49

Normality50

Granger Causality50

Regression Results51

Effect of CSR on NPM51

Effect of CSR on ROTA52

Effect of CSR on ROE53

Testing of Hypotheses54

Summary of Findings54

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Summary56

Conclusion57

Recommendations57

Suggestions for Further Research57

Contributions to Knowledge58

REFERENCES 59

APPENDIX A 67

APPENDIX B1 71

APPENDIX B2 72

APPENDIX B3 76

APPENDIX B4 77

LIST OF TABLES

Page

Table 1 List of quoted Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria 40

Table 2 Descriptive Statistics 44

Table 3 Variance Inflator Factor 46

Table 4 New Variance Inflator Factor 46

Table 5 Durbin-Watson Statistics 47

Table 6 Heteroskedasticity Test for NPM Model 48

Table 7 Stationarity Test 49

Table 8 Hausman Specification Test 49

Table 9 Shapiro-Wilk W Test for normal data 50

Table 10 Granger causality test 51

Table 11 Linear Regression of NPM Random Effects Model 52

Table 12 Regression Coefficients for ROTA 52

Table 13 Regression Coefficients for ROE 53

LIST OF FIGURES

Page

Figure 1 Link between Corporate Social Responsibility and Profitability 15

LIST OF APPENDICES

Page

Appendix A: Study Data Set 67

Appendix B1: Descriptive Statistics 71

Appendix B2: Diagnostic Tests Results 72

Appendix B3: ANOVA Results 76

Appendix B4: Regression Coefficients 77

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

The primary objective of a firm is to maximize shareholders‘ value by producing goods and services that meet the needs of the society. The economic operations of firms have drawn significant attention of their stakeholders, for example, employees, suppliers, unions, customers, investors, creditors, regulators and directors. These stakeholders now demand more transparency and accountability from firms by mounting considerable pressure on them to carry the society along in their economic decisions. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to the practice whereby corporate entities voluntarily integrate both social and environmental issues into their business decision making and operations. However, CSR in recent times implies that companies voluntarily integrate social and environmental concerns in their operations and interaction with stakeholders. However, some arguments suggest that CSR is just a reminder that the quest for profit should be considered alongside social and environmental considerations (Manuel & Lúcia, 2007). Branco and Rodrigues (2008) hold the view that CSR is analyzed as a source of competitive advantage and not an end in itself.

In effect, the concept of CSR has evolved from being regarded as detrimental to a company‘s profitability, to being considered as somehow benefiting the company as a whole, at least in the long run. Corporate managers have found a need that the environment in which they operate should be catered for because their intermediate and macro environments have a direct impact on the attainment of their corporate goals, objectives and mission statements. Therefore, the purpose of profit-making organizations is to maximize profit through optimal utilization of available resources. It is important to note that profitability is an important factor to companies,

because it is one of the major purposes for which companies are established. In the emerging global economy, where the Internet, the news media and the information revolution shed light on business practices around the world, companies are now frequently assessed on the basis of their environmental stewardship in addition to their ability to make profit. Partners in business and consumers want to know what is inside a company. This transparency of business practices means that for banks in Nigeria, CSR is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

Mazurkiewicz (2004) recognizes that the concept of CSR has been developing since the early 1970s. Therefore, there is no single, commonly accepted definition of CSR. There are different perceptions of the concept among stakeholders. CSR in banking sector is aimed addressing the peculiarity of the socio-economic development challenges of the country (e.g. poverty alleviation, health care provision, infrastructure development, education, etc.) and would be informed by socio-cultural influences (e.g. communalism and charity). They might not necessarily reflect the popular western standard or expectations of CSR (e.g. consumer protection, fair practice, green marketing, climate change concerns, and social responsible investments).

Companies are assumed to be socially responsible because they anticipate a benefit from their actions. Examples of such benefits might include reputation enhancement, the ability to charge a premium price for its outputs, or the use of CSR to recruit and retain high quality workers. These benefits are presumed to offset the costs associated with CSR, since resources must be allocated to allow the firm to achieve CSR status, while a key indicator to determine the true worth and value of modern organizations is their ability to give back to the society part of their income through some mutually beneficial initiatives (Nkanbra & Okorite, 2007).

There is no doubt that CSR is becoming indispensable, though involuntary, in the contemporary business world as societal needs are making it imperative for the corporate organizations to be sensitive to happenings in their environment, which ensure more understanding and good relationship between the organization and the society they exist, since CSR contributes to the wellbeing of the citizenry (Obaloha, 2008). CSR is one of the most dynamic, complex and challenging areas that business leaders face (Gwynne, 2009). It is arguably one of the most critical issues in business-society relationship thus bringing public interest companies under pressure to take active role in making the society a better place to live in.

The concept of CSR is also regarded as having emerged from the environmental perspective which is about how to manage physical resources so that they are conserved for the future. Therefore, CSR is about the economic performance of the organization itself. CSR calls for economic growth that can relieve the great poverty of less developed countries, based on policies that sustain and expand the environmental resource base. Nigerian banks responded to CSR over the years when they recognized their obligations to the banks‘ stakeholders and to the society since CSR enhance their reputations. Elkington (2008) asserts that companies should not only focus on enhancing its value through maximizing profit and outcome but concentrate on CSR issues equally. In line with Elkington (2008) assertion, Nigerian banks have spent billions of naira as their contribution towards addressing the peculiarity the social economic development challenges of the society. The principal beneficiaries of banks‘ CSR policies are in the areas of healthcare, education, security, housing, agriculture, arts and tourism, sports, charity organizations, religion, social clubs, government agencies, youth development and public infrastructure development.

Profitability is the final measure of economic success achieved by a firm in relation to the capital invested in it. This economic success is determined by the magnitude of the net profit (Pimentel, Braga & Casa Nova, 2015). To achieve an appropriate return over the amount of risk accepted by the shareholders, is the main objective of firms operating in capitalist economies. After all, profit is the propulsive element of any investments in different projects. The assessment of profitability is usually done through the ROA (Return on Assets = Net Income/Total Assets) and ROE (Return on Equity = Net Income/Equity), which is the ultimate measure of economic success. Financial ratios are a class of financial metrics that are used to assess a business's ability to generate earnings as compared to its expenses and other relevant costs incurred during a specific period of time. For most of these ratios, having a higher value relative to a competitor's ratio or the same ratio from a previous period is indicative that the company is doing well.

The profitability of firms is of vital importance for investors, stakeholders and economy at large. For investors, the return on their investments is highly valuable and a well performing business can bring high and long-term returns for their investors. Furthermore, profitability of a firm will boost the income of its employees, bring better quality products for its customers, and have better environment friendly production units. Also, more profits will mean more future investments, which will generate employment opportunities and enhance the income of people. Profitability is the ability of a business to earn a profit. A profit is what is left of the revenue a business generates after it pays all expenses directly related to the generation of the revenue, such as producing a product, and other expenses related to the conduct of the business activities. Profitability is the primary goal of all businesses. Without profitability the business will not survive in the long run. So measuring current and past profitability and projecting future

profitability is very important. Profitability is measured with income and expenses. Income is money generated from the activities of the business. Expenses are the cost of resources used up or consumed by the activities of the business.

Whether you are recording profitability for the past period or projecting profitability for the coming period, measuring profitability is the most important measure of the success of the business. A business that is not profitable cannot survive. Conversely, a business that is highly profitable has the ability to reward its owners with a large return on their investment. Increasing profitability is one of the most important tasks of the business managers. Managers constantly look for ways to change the  business  to  improve  profitability.  A  variety  of profitability  ratios (decision tool) can be used to assess the financial health of a business. These ratios, created from the income statement, can be compared with industry benchmarks. Also, income statement trends (decision tool) can be tracked over a period of years to identify emerging problems.

Profitability is seen as a measure of economic success achieved by a company in relation to the capital invested in it (Pimentel et al., 2005). To achieve an appropriate return over the amount of risk accepted by the shareholders, is the main objective of companies operating in capitalist economies. After all, profit is the propulsive element of any investments in different projects. The assessment of profitability is usually done through the ROA (Return on Assets = Net Income / Total Assets) and ROE (Return on Equity = Net Income / Equity), which is the ultimate measure of economic success.

In order to measure the profitability of a company, the most usual indicator is the return over equity (ROE), which is obtained by divided the net profit over the total shareholder‘s equity. However some of the companies in the studied sample had very small values for equity (sometimes even negative values), so in order to go around this problem the return over assets

(ROA) could be used as a measure of profitability. This indicator is obtained by dividing the net profit of the period by the total assets of the company. Unlike the ROE the ROA is not a measure of firm‘s efficiency to generate profit from the invested capital, thus it cannot be used to compare the company‘s performance against other kinds of investments, such as bonds. Also ROA is not the best indicator in order to compare the performance of companies in different industries, since the scale factors and capital requirements may differ, however this ratio is good to compare the profitability between companies inside the same sector.

The ROA can be used on my research because all the companies of the sample operate in the same industry. Thus by analyzing the different ROA of the firms I will be able to verify if the profitability is in some way related to the liquidity levels. The ROE would not provide a good comparison because the small and the negative equity levels of some companies would generate distorted indicators of profitability. The ROA is calculated by dividing the net income of each period over the total assets of the companies. Since both numbers could be easily found on the financial statements on the annual reports it was hard to make a table with this ratio.

Deposit money banks (DMBs) are resident depository firms which have liabilities in the form of deposits payable on demand, transferable by cheque or otherwise usable for making payments (OECD, 2015). DMBs are financial intermediaries, providing funds for deficit sectors and collecting funds from surplus sectors. A key function of DMBs is to mobilize savings for investment. The importance of DMBs in influencing economic growth is widely acknowledged. Blum, Federmair, Fink and Haiss (2002) identify the role of DMBs in facilitating technological innovation through their intermediary roles. DMBs also ensure efficient allocation of savings through identification and funding of entrepreneurs with the best chances of successfully implementing innovative products and services.

Deposit money banks in Nigeria have evolved over the years. Commencing in 1892, the pioneer banking company in Nigeria namely the Africa Banking Corporation was absorbed by the British Bank of West Africa (BBWA) in 1894 enjoyed virtual monopoly of banking business. This period up to 1952 was characterized by the absence of banking legislation in Nigeria and also said that anybody could set up a banking company provided he/she is registered under the companies‘ ordinance. The dominant banking institutions were foreign commercial banks operating mainly to serve the trade financing requirement of their country‘s industrial sector. Being foreign based, it was believed that indigenes were discriminated against in respect of banking credit facilities. The belief, coupled with ―free-for-all‖ operation environment and ease with which bank were incorporated-―cases of easy come– easy go‖ was experienced in Nigerian Banking Sector. In this era banks failed in social responsibility. This problem faced led to the agreement between government officials and representative of banks that there was need for legislations and establishment of control measures for banking operation. The period 1958-1969 witness an era of banking regulations consolidation. It gave birth to the establishment of and commencement of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Today the Nigerian Banking Industry is made up of twenty four commercial banks with First Bank of Nigeria Plc recognized by the CBN as one of the leading banks in the country.

DMBs ensure that there is adequate flow of money in circulation to service the needs of the economy and facilitate the transfer of money between economic units (Ogege & Shiro, 2013). The system also helps to mobilize the collection and storage of savings (Nzotta, 2014). The non-provision of finance can retard economic growth and development. Thus, DMBs play a very significant role in economic growth, development and social mobilization. In Nigeria, the bank failures of the 1990s and their resultant consequences on other sectors of the economy

brought hardship and business failures which in turn brought to the fore the strategic relevance of DMBs. It should be noted also that DMBs play very important roles in the transmission of monetary policies. This is made possible by the fact that the assets and liabilities of DMBs form a good part of the money supply though the money multiplier process. Nigeria has 21 DMBs of which 15 are listed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. They are Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria, United Bank for Africa, Unity bank, Wema Bank and Zenith Bank.

Statement of the Research Problem

In Nigeria, deposit money banks are at the heart of several socially responsible activities, such as donations to tertiary institutions, health institutions, promoting friendly and clean environment and developing human capital. Whether these activities contribute to bank profitability, there are limited interests by scholars and policy makers to examine this question. There is also additional demand on the part of society for deposit money banks to continue to do more in the areas of social causes.

It is desirable to state that the nexus between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and profitability has come a long way (Dodd, 1932; Jarrell & Peltzman, 1985; Hoffer et al., 1988; Preston & O‘Bannon, 1997; Waddock & Graves, 1997; Griffin & Mahon, 1997; McWilliams & Siegel, 2000 and Simpson & Kohers, 2002). The empirical studies on CSR and profitability link have never been in agreement, as some studies find negative correlation, some find positive correlation, while others find no correlation at all.

The viewpoint for positive correlation between CSP and CP suggests that as a bank‘s explicit costs are opposite of the hidden costs of stakeholders, therefore, this viewpoint is

proposed from the perspectives of avoiding cost to major stakeholders and considering their satisfaction (Cornell & Shapiro, 1987). In addition, this theory further infers that commitment to CSR would result in increased costs to competitiveness and decrease the hidden costs of stakeholders. This argument is meaningful and reasonable, as good relationships with employees, suppliers, and customers are necessary for the survival of a bank. Bowman and Haire (2005) point out that some shareholders regard CSR as a symbolic management skill, namely, CSR is a symbol of reputation, and the bank reputation will be improved by actions to support the community, resulting in positive influence on sales. Therefore, when a bank increases its costs  by improving CSR in order to increase competitive advantages, such CSR expenditure can enhance bank reputation, thus, in the long run, profitability can be improved, though short run profits are sacrificed.

The viewpoint for negative correlation between CSR and profitability suggests that the fulfillment of CSR will bring competitive disadvantages to the bank (Aupperle et al., 2005) methods or need to bear other costs. When carrying out CSR activities, increased costs will result in little gain if measured in economic interests. When neglecting some stakeholders, such as employees or the environment, result in a lower CSR for the enterprise, the profitability may be improved in the short run. Hence, Waddock and Graves (2007) indicate that this theory was based on the assumption of negative correlation between CSR and profitability. Some other studies suggest that CSR is not related to profitability at all. Ullmann (2015) points out that there is no reason to anticipate the existence of any relationship between CSR and profitability, as there are many variables in between the two. On the other hand, the issue of CSR measurement may also cover the link between CSR and profitability (Waddock & Graves, 2007). McWilliams and Siegel (2000) also suggest that the relationship between CSR and profitability would

disappear with introduction of more accurate variables, such as the research and development strength, into the economic models.

Also, scholarly works on the association between corporate social responsibility and profitability have produced mixed results. Some studies conclude that a positive nexus exists (Bolanle, Olanrewaju & Muyideen, 2012; Graves & Waddock, 1994; McGuire, Sundgren & Schneeweis, 1988; Moskowitz, 1972; Muhammad, Saleh & Zulkifli, 2011; Roberts, 2002; Roman, Hayibor & Agle, 1999; Simpson & Kohers, 2002; Uadiale & Fagbemi, 2012). Some other studies conclude a negative link (Mwangi, 2013; Palmer, 2012). Yet, others query the existence of such a relationship completely (McWilliams & Siegel, 2001; Margoslis, Elfenbein & Walsh, 2007; Tsoutsoura, 2004). The empirical studies conducted in developed countries on the relationship between CSR and profitability is essentially of two distinct categories (Margolis & Walsh, 2007). The first category considers the short-run financial impact if the company is involved in either socially or irresponsible actions. The results are mixed. For instance, Wright and Ferris (1997) find negative relationships, while other researchers find positive relationships (Hall & Rieck, 1998; Posnikoff, 1997; Wright & Ferris, 1997 and Teoh et al., 1999).

The second category, examines the relationship of CSR and profitability in the long-run, using accounting and market based measurements. The findings are also mixed. Various studies report a negative relationship between CSR and profitability (Moore, 2001; Vance, 1975), while other studies reveal a neutral or no relationship (Mahoney & Roberts, 2007; McWilliams and Seigel, 2000; Patten, 1991; Alexander & Buchholz, 1978). Most of the prior studies found a positive relationship between CSR and CP. Again, stakeholder theory suggests that Corporate Social Performance (CSP) is positively associated with CP (Freeman, 1984 and Donaldson &

Preston 1995). Moskowitz (1972) finds a positive relationship between socially responsible business practices and corporate equity returns.

Muhammad, Saleh and Zulkifli (2011) conclude that there is a positive and significant link between CSR and Profitability. Two of the CSR dimensions, namely employee relations and community involvement were found to be positively related to financial performance. The results also reveal that there is limited evidence of the relationship between CSR and CP in the long- term. Bolanle, Olanrewaju and Muyideen (2012) examine the relationship between corporate social responsibility and profitability in the Nigerian banking industry using First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc as the case study. They conclude that there is positive relationship between banks CSR activities and profitability. This study is different from current study because it is a case study while current study is a longitudinal study. Uadiale and Fagbemi (2012) examine the impact of CSR activities on financial performance measured with Return on Equity (ROE) and Return on Assets (ROA). The results show that CSR has a positive and significant relationship with the financial performance measures. This study uses non-financial services firms and is therefore different from current study which uses deposit money banks.

Mahbuba and Farzana (2013) examine the relationship between CSR and profitability in Bangladesh and conclude that 90.7% of the variation in profit after tax is explained  by the benefit accrued from corporate social responsibility. Mahbuba and Farzana (2013) study is also different from current study for three reasons. First, the study was done in Bangladesh while current study is a Nigerian study. Second, their study was done for 10 years (2002-2011), while the current study covers 15 years (2001-2015). Third, Mahbuba and Farzana (2013) study used profit after tax as proxy for profitability, this study uses net profit margin, return on assets and return on equity as proxies for profitability.

Arising from the lack of consensus on the findings of the previous empirical studies on the impact of CSR on the profitability of corporate enterprises and the fact that none of these studies comprehensively modeled all the listed deposit money banks in Nigeria; there is a gap in the academic literature that needed to be filled. It is within this context that this study examines the impact of CSR on the profitability of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria. Consistent with literature, this study expects that in the long run CSR will have positive impact on the profitability of the firm.

Statement of Research Questions

In the light of the foregoing, the research questions of this study are articulated as follows:

(i) What effect does corporate social responsibility has on the net profit margin of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria?

(iv) How does corporate social responsibility affects the return on assets of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria?

(v) Does corporate social responsibility affects the return on equity of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria?

Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the effect of corporate social responsibility on the profitability of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study are to:

(i) Examine the effect of corporate social responsibility on the net profit margin of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria.

(ii) Examine the effect of corporate social responsibility on the return on total assets of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria.

(iii) Assess the effect of corporate social responsibility on the return on equity of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria.

Research Hypotheses

In order to achieve the specific objectives of this research, the following research hypotheses have been formulated to be tested in the study:

H1: Corporate social responsibility has no significant effect on the net profit margin of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria.

H2: Corporate social responsibility has no significant effect on the return on total assets of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria.

H3: Corporate social responsibility has no significant effect on the return on equity of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria.

Scope of the Study

The study focuses on the nexus between corporate social responsibility and profitability of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria. It covers a period of ten years (2006-2015) for the 15 listed deposit money banks in Nigeria. The period of investigation is significant in many respects: first, the period witnesses the global financial crisis of 2007/2008 and therefore it will be interesting to investigate whether the crisis affected corporate social responsibility activities of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria; second, since the 2015 financial data of the banks are published, 2006-

2015 represent the most recent data in respect of the financial performance of listed deposit money banks in Nigeria.

Significance of the Study

The study is expected to make contributions to knowledge in a number of ways. The outcome of this research will provide information about CSR in relation to corporate institutions especially the listed deposit money banks in Nigeria. It is also expected that the results of this study would produce relevant material for scholarly discourse in management science relating to corporate social responsibility and profitability. Another benefit is that in a truly global economy, deposit money banks in Nigeria would be more responsible and become citizens. Banks would more easily and willingly respond to the social needs of the societies where they operate.

The findings generated in this study are useful in testing the existing theories under extreme conditions not present in developed economies where most of the prior studies were carried out. Current and potential investors are supplied with information to help them make good investment decisions. The findings and conclusion may enable the regulators to know the nature of demand placed on deposit money banks in Nigeria and ways banks have responded to them.

The work is important to the government, host communities and non-governmental organizations involved in development programmes. This study fills literature gap by investigating the effects of CSR on profitability of deposit money banks. The results provide useful evidence to other emerging sectors such as insurance, which is closely related to deposit money banking sector.

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EFFECT OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ON PROFITABILITY OF LISTED DEPOSIT MONEY BANKS IN NIGERIA



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