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Central Bank of Nigeria

CbnLogo.jpg

Established: 1958
Governor: Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Headquarters: Abuja, Nigeria
Headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Abuja, Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria was established by the CBN Act of 1958 and commenced operations on July 1, 1959.[1]

The major regulatory objectives of the bank as stated in the CBN act of 1958 is to: issue legal tender, 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 colonial 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.[1]

Contents

History of the CBN

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Authorizing legislation

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 corner stone 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. [2]

Central Bank Headquarters in Abuja
Central Bank

Policy implementation and criticism

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.

Today

Currently, under the leadership of Lamido Sanusi, the bank's recent success is partially due to the rise in crude oil prices. The bank's use of capitalization has given more strength to the banking sector against an earlier failure by the central bank to control the fall of many merchant banks and commercial banks in the early 1990s. By 1990, the liberalizing agenda of an adopted Structural Adjustment Programme led to unprecedented growth in the banking sector.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b History of CBN, retrieved 8 September 2006 from http://www.cenbank.org/AboutCBN
  2. ^ Nigeria Year Book 1962. Daily Times of Nigeria. 1962. p. 107.  

References

  • E. O. Oloyede, The Bank Customer and Banking Law in Nigeria, Journal of African Law > Vol. 19, No. 1/2, Spring, 1975
  • G. O. Nwankwo, Bank Lending in a Developing Economy: The Nigerian Experience, Journal of African Law > Vol. 19, Spring, 1975
  • "Foreign reserves down, bank lending up as economy falters", Financial Times, November 29, 1982

External links


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