The major regulatory objectives of the bank as stated in the CBN Act are to: maintain the external reserves of the country, promote monetary stability and a sound financial environment, and to act as a banker of last resort and financial adviser to the federal government. The central bank's role as lender of last resort and adviser to the federal government has sometimes pushed it into murky regulatory waters. After the end of imperial rule the desire of the government to become pro-active in the development of the economy became visible especially after the end of the Nigerian civil war, the bank followed the government's desire and took a determined effort to supplement any short falls in credit allocations to the real sector. The bank soon became involved in lending directly to consumers, contravening its original intention to work through commercial banks in activities involving consumer lending. However, the policy was an offspring of the indigenisation policy at the time. Nevertheless, the government through the central bank has been actively involved in building the nation's money and equity centers, forming securities regulatory board and introducing treasury instruments into the capital market.
|Central Bank of Nigeria|
|Headquarters||Abuja, FCT, Nigeria|
|Central bank of||Nigeria|
NGN 566 (ISO 4217)
In 1948, an inquiry under the leadership of G.D Paton was established by the colonial administration to investigate banking practices in Nigeria. Prior to the inquiry, the banking industry was largely uncontrolled. The G.D Paton report, an offshoot of the inquiry became the cornerstone of the first banking legislation in the country: the banking ordinance of 1952. The ordinance was designed to prevent non viable banks from mushrooming, and to ensure orderly commercial banking. The banking ordinance triggered a rapid growth in the industry, with growth also came disappointment. By 1958, a few number of banks had failed. To curtail further failures and to prepare for indigenous control, in 1958, a bill for the establishment of Central Bank of Nigeria was presented to the House of Representatives of Nigeria. The Act was fully implemented on July 1, 1959, when the Central Bank of Nigeria came into full operation. In April 1960, the Bank issued its first treasury bills. In May 1961 the Bank launched the Lagos Bankers Clearing House, which provided licensed banks a framework in which to exchange and clear checks rapidly. By July 1, 1961 the Bank had completed issuing all denominations of new Nigerian notes and coins and redeemed all of the West African Currency Board's previous money.
The CBN's early functions were mainly to act as the government's agency for the control and supervision of the banking sector, to monitor the balance of payments according to the demands of the federal government and to tailor monetary policy along the demands of the federal budget. The central bank's initial lack of financial competence over the finance ministry led to deferment of major economic decisions to the finance ministry. A key instrument of the bank was to initiate credit limit legislation for bank lending. The initiative was geared to make credit available to neglected national areas such as agriculture and manufacturing. By the end of 1979, most of the banks did not adhere to their credit limits and favored a loose interpretation of CBN's guidelines. The central bank did not effectively curtail the prevalence of short term loan maturities. Most loans given out by commercial banks were usually set within a year. The major policy to balance this distortion in the credit market was to create a new Bank of Commerce and industry, a universal bank. However, the new bank did not fulfill its mission. Another policy of the bank in concert with the intentions of the government was direct involvement in the affairs of the three major expatriate commercial banks in order to forestall any bias against indigenous borrowers and consumers. By 1976, the federal government had acquired 40% of equity in the three largest commercial banks. The bank's slow reaction to curtail inflation by financing huge deficits of the federal government has been one of the sore points in the history of the central bank. Coupled with its failure to control the burgeoning trade arrears in 1983, the country was left with huge trade debts totaling $6 billion.
Governors of the Central Bank since independence:
|Governor||Previous position||Term start||Term end|
|Roy Pentelow Fenton||24 July 1958||24 July 1963|
|Aliyu Mai-Bornu||Deputy Governor, CBN||25 July 1963||22 June 1967|
|Clement Nyong Isong||Advisor International Monetary Fund||15 August 1967||22 September 1975|
|Adamu Ciroma||24 September 1975||28 June 1977|
|Ola Vincent||Deputy Governor, CBN||28 June 1977||28 June 1982|
|Abdulkadir Ahmed||Deputy Governor, CBN||28 June 1982||30 September 1993|
|Paul Agbai Ogwuma||CEO, Union Bank of Nigeria||1 October 1993||29 May 1999|
|Joseph Oladele Sanusi||CEO First Bank of Nigeria||29 May 1999||29 May 2004|
|Charles Chukwuma Soludo||Chief Executive, National Planning Commission||29 May 2004||29 May 2009|
|Sanusi Lamido Aminu Sanusi||CEO, First Bank of Nigeria||3 June 2009||20 February 2014|
|Sarah Alade||Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria||20 February 2014||3 June 2014|
|Godwin Emefiele||Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Bank||3 June 2014||to date|
The central bank was instrumental in the growth and financial credibility of Nigerian commercial banks by making sure that all the financial banks operating in the country had a capital base (required reserves). This helped to make sure that bank customers just did not bear losses alone, in the event of bank failures. However, this policy led to the failure of some Nigerian commercial banks; some banks could not meet up with the new capital base requirements, which was 25,000,000,000.00 Naira at the time. Those banks that could not meet the new capital base requirements had to fold up, while some that could not come up with the money on their own, had to merge with other banks in order to raise the money. This policy helped solidify the commercial banks of Nigeria, and made it impossible for individuals or organizations without financial stability to operate a bank in the country. Today Nigeria has one of the most advanced financial sectors in Africa, with most of its commercial banks having branches in other countries.
The Central Bank is active in promoting financial inclusion policy and is a leading member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion. It is also one of the original 17 regulatory institutions to make specific national commitments to financial inclusion under the Maya Declaration during the 2011 Global Policy Forum held in Mexico. The CBN has ensured all Banks in Nigeria to have a uniform year end. The various commercial bank includes Access Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Zenith Bank plc, Wema Bank, StanbicIbtc Bank, Fidelity Bank, United Bank for Africa etc.
Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the former Zenith Bank Plc Chief Executive took up the mantle as the 11th CBN chief, and its 10th indigenous governor. Emefiele, who replaced Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, whose tenure elapsed on June 1 brings to the job over 20 years of banking experience. He has held several strategic positions in his 18 years in the banking industry. Before becoming the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, he had worked in corporate banking, as well as treasury and financial controls. Before that, he was a lecturer in Finance and Insurance at the University of Port Harcourt, as well as his alma mater, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he obtained both BSc and MBA degrees in Finance. He is an alumnus of Executive Education at Stanford University, Harvard University and Wharton Graduate Schools of Business. Emefiele in his maiden press briefing two days after his resumption of office gave a presentation titled “ENTRENCHING MACROECONOMIC STABILITY AND ENGENDERING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA”. He acknowledged the excellent work that the Bank had done to achieve financial system stability, low inflation, exchange rate stability, an efficient payment system, and a consistent monetary policy in the last couple of years. He maintained that the vision of the Central Bank of Nigeria is to create a people-centered Central Bank by "delivering price and financial system stability and promoting sustainable economic development”.
The name of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been used in a series of so-called 'Nigerian 419 Scams'. The fraudster sends an e-mail that appears to come from a Central Bank employee to millions of people saying the Bank has found an excess of money, or a debt owing to, a person or persons who have since died, and they wish to export it. The victim submits his own bank account so that the money may be placed therein, however this information is only used to add credibility to the scam, in order to lure the victim in further. Bank details and other personal information is used to create fake certificate or document that are allegedly from the Bank. Contrary to popular belief, the victim's bank account cannot be emptied in this fashion. And, if money was taken from an account, it could be reimbursed as it can be traced Instead, the fraudster will ask the victim to send money via wire transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. A wire transfer sent abroad is untraceable and not reversible. The bank is in no way associated with such scams.