Economic and Financial Review


M. O. Ojo


Central Bank of Nigeria, Research Department.


Deregulation, Nigerian banking industry, Economic regulation, Financial deregulation, Central Bank of Nigeria.


The objective of the paper is to review and appraise the process of deregulation in the Nigerian banking industry since the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Programme in 1986. As a background, the paper analyses some conceptual and theoretical issues and the regulatory framework before 1986. Deregulation of the banking industry involves the systematic removal of regulatory controls, structures and operational guidelines which may be considered inhibitive of orderly growth, competition and efficient allocation of resources in the industry. The Nigerian banking industry experienced the most intensive regulations between 1958 and 1986. The regulatory framework was supported by major legislations such as the CBN Act of 1958, Companies Act of 1968 and the Banking Act 1969, as well as the vigorous application of the Exchange Control Act of 1962. While the regulations ensured the viability and stability of the banking industry, they tended, through their prolonged use to reduce the competitiveness and efficiency of the industry. The basic elements of deregulation in the banking industry since 1989 have been the liberalisation of foreign exchange transactions and international trade generally, the introduction of structural and institutional changes and some simplification of the monetary control process. Along with a general improvement in financial intermediation, deregulation of the banking industry has encouraged savings mobilisation and increased flow of financial resources to the productive sectors of the economy. However, deregulation appears to have accentuated the problems of poor management, fraud, inadequate infrastructure and scarcity of professional staff with adequate long-range planning and maximum co-operation with the monetary authorities, the banking industry is likely to experience stronger growth as the process of deregulation gathers momentum.





Recommended Citation

Ojo, M. O. (1991). Deregulation in the Nigerian banking industry: a review and appraisal. CBN Economic and Financial Review, 29(1), 1-14.



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