Central Bank of Nigeria – History, Functions, Structure

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is like a super important money place in our country, but have you ever thought about its history, functions, structure and management? Let’s take a trip back in time and learn about the history of the CBN, it’s functions, structure and management.

History of the Central Bank of Nigeria

For a long time in colonial Nigeria, there was no regulation controlling the activities of the banking industry. Financial institutions were not checked and they were allowed to grow incredibly quickly.

Although there was an organization (West African Currency Board) overseeing the provision and control of currency supply to British West African territories, it was nothing more than a fancy Bureau de Change operation.

After a failed ordinance and a series of banking failures, it became essential to establish order and safety in the banking sector.

An inquiry, set up by G.D. Paton was presented to the House of Representatives in 1958. This inquiry led to the creation of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, which forms the foundation of the apex bank as we know it today.

As Nigeria grew, the CBN grew too. In 1978, the CBN Act was changed to give it more freedom. The 1980s had some tough money times, like oil prices going down, so the CBN had to help the economy stay steady.

In 2005, the CBN started the BVN (Bank Verification Number) system to make sure banking was safe and less tricky.

Functions of the Central Bank of Nigeria

The primary function of the Central Bank of Nigeria is to manage the Nigerian economy. The bank regulates and monitors the financial system (banks and other financial institutions). It ensures the system continues growing and prevents any kind of distress like an economic meltdown. The CBN Act of 2007 controls the activities of the Central Bank. Some of its mandates are:

  • Ensure monetary and price stability
  • Issue legal tender currency in Nigeria
  • Maintain external reserves to safeguard the international value of the legal tender currency
  • Promote a sound financial system in Nigeria
  • Act as a banker and provide economic and financial advice to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
  1. Ensure Monetary and Price Stability

One of the functions of the Central Bank of Nigeria is to keep the country’s market prices stable and inflation low. The bank achieves this by creating and implementing sound monetary policies. When they fail at this function, the country’s economy suffers, interest rates increase, inflation increases, and generally, the cost of living increases.

  1. Issue Legal Tender Currency in Nigeria

Another function of the Central Bank of Nigeria is to distribute legal tender (Naira) across the country, ensuring that there is enough cash for financial activities.

  1. Maintain External Reserves

External reserves or foreign reserves are the foreign assets (cash, treasury bills, stocks) available to the country to help stabilize the economy. The Central Bank of Nigeria maintains these reserves so that whenever the country needs them for various activities, the reserves will be available.

The Central Bank maintains these reserves by managing the country’s debts and foreign exchange adequately. A declining external reserve reduces the country’s ability to engage in foreign trade.

  1. Promote a Sound Financial System in Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria monitors the activities of banks and other financial institutions to ensure they are following the rules of the banking sector. This monitoring helps create an efficient and trustworthy financial system in Nigeria.

  1. Act as a Banker and Provide Economic and Financial Advice to the Federal Government of Nigeria

Nigerian citizens use the services of various banking institutions to deposit and withdraw their money. The citizens seek financial advice and loans from the banks for various endeavours.

The Central Bank of Nigeria acts in this manner with the Federal Government. However, these activities are heavily regulated and monitored by the laws governing the apex bank.

Additionally, the Central Bank of Nigeria helps grow the economy and adapts the needs of the country to the changing technological advancements.


List of Bank Charges in Nigeria – All Bank Charges

Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria – Branches & Addresses

List of Banks that Do National ID Card in Nigeria

List 20 Commercial Banks in Nigeria

Structure of the Central Bank of Nigeria

Ever wondered how the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set up? Let’s take a peek into how it’s organized to see how it works.

  1. Leadership Team

The CBN has a team of leaders who make sure everything runs smoothly. At the top is the Governor, who’s like the big boss. Then, there are four Deputy Governors and ten Directors who help with different parts of the CBN’s work.

  1. Different Departments

The CBN has lots of departments. They are divided into directorates, kind of like teams. These directorates are Corporate Services, Economic Policy, Financial System Stability, Operations, and Governor’s Directorates. When put simply, can be said to be the Banking Supervision department, Money Regulation Rules department, Printing/Minting Money department, and Customer Protections department.

  1. Money Rules Team

One group, called the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), is in charge of making money regulatory rules for Nigeria. It includes the Governor, Deputy Governors, and some special people chosen by the President.

  1. Money Printing

The team in charge of making and keeping track of money is called the Currency Department. They make sure we have enough money to use.

  1. Monitoring Banks

Another important team, the Banking Supervision Department, makes sure banks and other financial institutions follow the rules. This helps keep everyone’s money safe.

  1. Including Everyone

The CBN wants everyone to have access to anything that has to do with money, so there’s a special team just for that, they’re called the Customer Protections Department. They work on projects to help more people use banks.

  1. Branches Everywhere

The CBN isn’t just in one place. It has offices all over Nigeria, even in the big cities. These offices help the CBN do its job and talk to people and banks in different places.

  1. Money-Related Matters

There’s also a group that handles money-related issues like trading and interest rates. They help control how much money is around.

So, that’s how the CBN is set up to make sure everything works well and our money stays safe.

Management of the Central Bank of Nigeria

Knowing how the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is run helps us understand how it gets things done. Let’s dive deeper into how this important place is managed.

  1. The CBN Governor

At the top of the CBN is the Governor. The President of Nigeria picks the Governor, and they make all the big decisions about money rules, keeping banks safe, and other important things.

  1. The Helpers

Supporting the Governor are four Deputy Governors, each with a special job:

      • One looks after money rules to keep our country’s money stable.
      • Another takes care of things like human resources and office stuff.
      • One makes sure banks play by the rules and our money is safe.
      • The last one handles things like printing money and making sure there’s enough cash.
  1. The Department Heads

The CBN also has Directors who are in charge of different departments, like Banking Supervision, Money Regulatory Rules, and Currency Related Matters. They make sure everything runs smoothly in their areas.

  1. Money Regulatory Rules Team

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is also very important. It’s made up of the Governor, the Deputy Governors, and some other people picked by the President. They meet and decide on money rules, like interest rates and how much money should be around.

  1. All Around the Country

The CBN doesn’t just stay in one place. It has offices all over Nigeria, even in the big city Abuja. These offices help the CBN do its work and talk to banks and people in different places.

  1. Working Together

Everyone in the CBN works together to keep our money safe and our country’s economy strong. They make sure everything is fair and square.

  1. Being Open and Honest

The CBN believes in being open and honest. They share reports and information with the public, like what the MPC decides and how things are going. This way, everyone knows what’s happening with our money.

In a nutshell, the way the Central Bank of Nigeria is managed helps it do its job well. The Governor, Deputy Governors, Directors, and the Monetary Policy Committee all work together to make sure our money is safe, and our country keeps growing. This teamwork makes our money system strong and our economy healthy.


List of Microfinance Banks in Nigeria (Top List)

List of Banks that Do National ID Card in Nigeria