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 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 proactive 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 show shortfalls, credit allocations to the real sector. The bank 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 indigenization policy at the time. Nevertheless, the government through the central bank has been actively involved in building the nation’s money and equity centres, forming securities regulatory boards, and introducing treasury instruments into the capital market. The bank has thirty-six branches each in the 36 states of the federation and the headquarters in FCT.
The Library is a standard library at the Headquarters and all other branches, it has information resources like journals, magazines, books of various fields of study can be used and the library is open for students, researchers and staff.
History of the CBN
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 rapid growth in the industry, and with growth also came disappointment. By 1958, a few banks had failed. To curtail further failures and to prepare for indigenous control, in 1958, a bill for the establishment of the Central Bank of Nigeria was presented to the House of Representatives of Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria Act No. 24, 1958 was published as chapter 30 of the 1958 edition of the Laws of Nigeria and Lagos. It was fully implemented on 1 July 1959, when the Central Bank of Nigeria came into full operation and remained the primary statute governing the CBN until its repeal by the Central Bank of Nigeria Act No.24, 1991. 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 1 July 1961, the Bank had completed issuing all denominations of new Nigerian notes and coins and redeemed all of the British West African pounds that were circulating in Nigeria