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Nigerian central bank dismisses online claims of instability in banking sector

IN SHORT:  The country's banking system has been in the spotlight for months, including for the arrest of its top banker in 2023. But claims on social media that deposits are at risk are false, the banking regulator said.

“If you have money in any Nigerian banks, please use it for an investment, because it's not safe.” This is the claim in a Facebook post published in January 2024. 

The same claim appeared on the platform here, here, here and here.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been in the headlines for months. In June 2023, president Bola Tinubu suspended its governor, Godwin Emefiele.

In August, Emefiele was arrested and charged with procurement fraud. He was released on bail.  

According to media reports in December, Jim Obazee, a special investigator probing the central bank, reported to Tinubu that Emefiele had acquired some commercial banks with ill-gotten wealth. 

Nigeria's central bank removed the board members of the affected banks in early January 2024 and appointed new ones.

But is there any credence to the claim about deposits?


‘Our banking system remains strong and resilient”

On 27 December 2023, the central bank sought to reassure customers of the affected banks through a statement on its social media handles.

The banking regulator urged individuals to continue doing business without hesitation, saying “Nigerian banks remain safe and sound”.

In a separate statement on 10 January 2024, it said: “The CBN assures the public of the safety and security of depositors’ funds … Our Banking system remains strong and resilient.”

The central bank added that it was committed to maintaining a sound and robust financial system.

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