1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The development of central banking can be said to date from the middle of the 19th century, but precisely, there is no exact date when banking started in Nigeria. Historically, records showed that domestic banking activities started in 1961, when a shipping company Elder Dempter lines started banking services in Lagos. The chairman of the company in 1392 established the first banking, institution called African Banking Corporation, which metamorphosed into first Bank of Nigeria. In 1917, Barchays banks now known as Union Bank of Nigeria Plc was established.
Before 1952, the West African Currency Board (WACB) established in 1912 was used as the state bank for Anglo-phone West African Countries, such as Nigeria, Sierra-Leone, Ghana and Gambia. The West African Currency Board (WAECB) was based in London and it issued notes and coins for the Anglo=Phone West African Countries.
The banking failure of the 1950’s could not but lead to the establishment of Central Bank to serve as banker to the banking system, to perform supervisory role over the commercial banks and issue currency notes and coins thus, regulating the supply of money in Nigeria. Not only these, it acts as a financial adviser to the government on monetary policy and implementing the policy on behalf of the government.
The Central Bank of Nigeria is government bank established to keep a country’s financial system under control and close supervision. The responsibility of managing the Central Bank of Nigeria is vested in the hand of the board of directors whose members are appointed by the government.
The Central Bank of Nigeria is expected particularly in promoting economy growth by fostering the development of money and capital market, development banking habits and sound financial system. In order to facilitate economy development, Central Bank of Nigeria tends to engage in activities, which extend beyond its traditional functions. In this regard, it played a unique role in the development of Nigeria economy, particularly in promoting agricultural and industrial development in general.
Central Bank of Nigeria was established to act as the organ of government that should undertake the major financial operations of the government and by its conduct influence the behaviour of financial institutions so as to support the economic policy of the government. It follows therefore that the Central Bank of Nigeria must in some sense be a part of the government machinery with its action.
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