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CBN officials too wary of the press

by Business News Report

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as the key financial institution in the country cannot but attract press coverage of its activities.
Considering the functions it performs in the economy, government bankers, collecting and collating national financial data, regulating other financial institutions in the economy and advising government on monetary, fiscal and debt policies options, the bank policies options, the bank the attention of newsmen.
The question is that over the years the apex bank has grown and become over conscious of its sacrosanct position and has thus become close shopped treating information seekers as unwanted trespassers.
Like one staffer of the bank once told The Republic we do not need the press, to make us. Such is the levity with which the CBN treats pressmen and the public.
More disturbing is the fact that CBN officials to do not make secret of their dislike of the press. You are told in very plain language that we do not welcome pressmen. We really are not friendly with the press.

This has been the practice that makes adequate coverage of the apex bank difficult. Even circulars issued to authorised dealers are treated as classified documents in the apex bank.
As if this is not sad enough, CBN has not thought it wise enough to set up a public relations department to handle its public affairs. This has gone some way to show the banks insensitivity to information flow. It is rather appalling and conservative to the extreme to find that a bank of its kind and importance has no public relations department after nearly 30 years of existence.
The colonial nature of the bank makes it difficult for individuals, organisations and the press to operate freely with the CBN. Those seeking financial information are asked to get clearance from the ministry of finance. That is not all, the bank’s monthly reports which should have filled the vacuum by providing the needed information are never available on current basis. They are always 5 months behind time.

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