In a recent statement issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the apex bank has emphatically affirmed the safety of funds within the nation’s banking institutions, dismissing unverified reports that have stirred concerns about the health of Nigerian banks. It urged the public to continue with their routine banking activities, assuring them that the banking sector remains stable. The statement, released by Hakama Sidi-Ali, the acting Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN, addressed the reports circulating in certain media outlets suggesting a recommendation for the Federal Government to take over some CBN-supervised financial institutions.
It categorically stated that Nigerian banks are safe and sound, emphasizing its commitment to upholding a stable financial system in the country. Sidi-Ali stated, “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has noticed reports, in certain media outlets, about a recommendation for the Federal Government to take over some CBN-supervised financial institutions. For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerian banks remain safe and sound.” In light of the alarm caused by unverified reports, the CBN reassured the public that it is fully equipped to carry out its statutory duty of maintaining a stable financial system in Nigeria.
Recently, a related report was submitted to the presidency.
Emphasizing the safety of funds in Nigerian financial institutions, the CBN encouraged bank customers to continue their regular transactions without concern. “The CBN is fully equipped to carry out its statutory duty of upholding a stable financial system in Nigeria. We assure the general public and depositors about the safety of their funds in Nigerian financial institutions. Bank customers are therefore advised to proceed with their banking transactions as usual, as there is no cause for concern,” the statement further affirmed.
This clarification follows a report by the CBN’s special investigator, Jim Obazee, alleging that the former governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, used proxies to establish two financial institutions. The report fueled speculations that the CBN might take over Titan Trust Bank (formerly Union Bank) and Keystone Bank. Jim Obazee, appointed as a special investigator in July 2023, submitted his final report titled ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable Offences)’ to the Presidency on December 20, 2023.
PoS operators cautioned to avoid causing cash scarcity.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Central Bank of Nigeria has issued a caution to Point-of-Sale (PoS) operators regarding cash availability. This caution was communicated in a statement signed by the Acting Director of Communication and Public Relations, Hakama Sidi-Ali. The financial institution expressed concern about collusion between some Deposit Money Banks and PoS operators, which has been affecting the availability of cash and disrupting the seamless circulation of the Naira. The apex bank warned both parties involved to cease such activities immediately or face legal consequences.
“The CBN frowns at such inappropriate actions by certain individuals and is investigating the reported cases capable of undermining the smooth running of the economy. The central bank has, therefore, warned banks and PoS operators to desist from such activities as relevant sanctions shall be meted out to those found wanting,” it stated. To address these concerns, the bank encouraged members of the public to utilize alternative payment channels and report any unauthorized activities, such as capping and hoarding, by banks or PoS agents. The statement provided a digital platform link for individuals to lodge complaints and inquiries related to the subject.
Commitment to ensuring stability in the banking sector.
Importantly, the Central Bank’s proactive stance in addressing concerns and ensuring stability in the banking sector is evident in its recent statements. The bank’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the financial system and reassuring the public of the safety of their funds reflects a dedication to maintaining trust and confidence in the Nigerian banking industry. As investigations continue, the umbrella bank remains vigilant in safeguarding the interests of depositors and the overall stability of the financial landscape.