From: Femi Oyelola, kaduna
Dr Terhemba Wuam, an Associate Professor of Economic History with Kaduna State University, yesterday commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for 60 years of excellent financial regulatory services in the country.
Wuam told journalists in Kaduna that the CBN steered the Nigerian economy from a very little beginning in 1958 to the huge economy it is today.
He explained that the Act to establish CBN was passed in 1958 by the then British Colonial Administration, in the match toward the country’s independence which came in 1960.
He said that although the Act was enacted in 1958, the bank began operation in 1959 to undertake supervisory role of banking, monetary regulations and other development functions for the country’s economy.
According to him, the bank’s efforts in steering the economy became evident in the fourth republic, when the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew from 88 billion U.S. dollars to 500 billion dollars.
“It is evident that the economy has more than tripled within 15 years from 88 billion dollars in 1999 to 500 dollars in 2014, making her the largest economy in Africa.
“This was no little achievement, and the CBN has been the key organ in this remarkable growth of the economy through its excellent monetary regulatory services.
“Although, the economy has shrink to 376 billion dollars today, following the recent recession, the economy is picking up fast and I am confident that in 10 year time, the economy would hit one trillion U.S dollars in GDP.”
He also noted that to check against bank failure, the CBN consolidation of the banking industry from 88 to about 25 was remarkable, adding that the step ensured stability in the financial sector for sustainable growth.
“From having tiny banks, the CBN has ensured that we have mega Pan-African and global banks providing risk-free financial transactions and meeting the banking needs of a growing economy like Nigeria.
“Not only that, the apex bank’s Bank Verification Number and Treasury Single Account initiatives were crucial in the ongoing anti-corruption war of the current administration, “he said.
The lecturer described the 60 years of existence of the CBN as a mile stone, adding that the department would soon held a national conference to appraise the performance of the bank over the past 60 years.
He said that the conference which would be held from July 22 to 25 2018 would be multi-disciplinary, where historians, economists, and political scientist would look at different shades of the economy.
“We want to look at the economic history of CBN and its interactions with different economic agents and how such interaction led to the huge economic growth in the country over the last 60 years.
“Primarily, the conference will look at the impact of the CBN on the Nigerian economy by assessing the bank’s role in regulating the banking sector and facilitating economic growth, and the changes it has experienced over the years, “Wuam said.