The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act of 2007 charges the Bank with the overall control and administration of the monetary and financial sector policies in the country. Although the four key objectives of the CBN include to 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; and act as banker and provide economic and financial advice to the federal government, the Bank has continued to perform major developmental functions, focused on all the key sectors of the economy.
Central banks in developing economies aim at the promotion and maintenance of a rising level of production, employment and real income in the country. This they do by working in alignment with the fiscal authorities for effective policy transmission.
Indeed, in his inaugural speech titled "Entrenching Macroeconomic Stability and a Engendering Economic Development in Nigeria," the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, who on June 3, 2016, marked his second year on the saddle as head of the central bank, made public his intention to pay significant attention to the development finance role of the CBN by supporting efforts of the fiscal authorities.
"Additional measures would be required towards identifying productive sectors of the economy and channeling credit towards these sectors, while imposing proper monitoring and performance measures in order to ensure that the goals of increased employment and poverty reduction are attained.
"This will require a review of the Bank's development finance programme, the participatory agencies responsible for the disbursement of funds, improving our monitoring capacity and developing performance targets relevant to our focus on generating employment and poverty reduction. To be effective, the measures taken by the Bank will not work in isolation. We will work with the fiscal authorities in reducing other structural distortions to productive growth, as this will enhance access to credit, as well as stimulate growth and employment generation," he had said as he unfolded his agenda for the central bank.
True to his words, as part of its development finance function, the central bank has continued to pursue policies aimed at supporting critical sectors of the economy as Nigeria strives to grow its non-oil sector.
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