History of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

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The central bank of Nigeria is the apex (highest) bank in Nigeria. It was established in 1958 by the CBN Act and it commenced operations on July 1st 1959.

The CBN headquarter is located at Abuja, the federal capital territory of Nigeria. There are other branches across the federation.

The CBN played a major role in the financial credibility and growth of the commercial banks in Nigeria. It made sure that all the financial banks operating in the country had the required reserve (capital base) for setting up a bank.

The CBN took upon itself the responsibility to nurture the capital and money market. They did this by introducing the treasury certificate in 1960, the treasury certificate in 1968 and also facilitated the Lagos stock exchange establishment in 1961.

Objectives of the CBN

The major regulatory objectives of the central bank as written in the CBN Act include:

  • External reserves maintenance.
  • To improve monetary stability and a good financial environment
  • Act as a financial adviser to the federal government
  • To act a lender of the last resort to financial institution

Other functions of the CBN include:

  1. Currency regulation: they helps to maintain the circulation of money in the economy
  2. They helps to control credit
  3. They are the custodians of commercial banks cash reserves
  4. They are also in custody of foreign exchange reserves management
  5. The CBN is saddled with the responsibility of managing domestic debt
  6. Control and supervision of other banks
  7. The CBN sets interest rate to control inflation and stabilize economic growth
  8. It is the sole body responsible for indigenous currency production

Below is the list of past leaders of the CBN since it was established



Resumed date

Retired date


Roy Pentelow Fenton

24th July,1958

24 July,1963


Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu

25th July,1963

22nd June,1967


Dr. Clement Nyong Isong

15th August,1972

24th September,1975


Mallam Adamu Ciroma

24th September,1975

28th June,1977


Mr. O. Ola. Vincent

28th June,1977

28th June,1982


Alahji Abdulkadir Ahmed

28th June,1982

30th September,1993


Dr. Paul Agbai Ogwuma

1st October,1993

29th May,1999


Chief (Dr.) Joseph Oladele Sanusi, CON

29th May,1999

29th May.2004


Prof. Chukwuma C. Soludo, CFR

29th May,2004

28th May,2009


Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

4th June,2009

2nd June,2014


Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CON

3rd June,2014

Till present

Mr Godwin Emefiele, CON is the 10th indigenous and current Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor.

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