1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The reforms in the financial system in Nigeria which heightened with the 1986 deregulation, affected the level of financial deepening of the country and the level relevance of the financial system to economic development. Nnanna and Dogo (1998) However, the rapid globalization of the financial markets since then and the increased level of integration of the Nigerian financial system to the global system have generated interest on the level of financial deepening that has occurred.
The financial system comprises various institutions, instruments and regulators. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (2003) the financial system refers to the set of rules and regulations and the aggregation of financial arrangements, institutions, agents, that interact with each other and the rest of the world to foster economic growth and development of a nation. According to Nzotta (2004:169) the financial system serve as a catalyst to economic development through various institutional structures. The systems vigorously seeks out and attracts the reservoir of savings and idle funds and allocate same to entrepreneurs, businesses, households and government for investments projects and other purposes with a view of returns. This forms the basis for economic development.
The financial system plays a key role in the mobilization and allocation of
Savings for productive, use provide structures for monetary management, the basis for managing liquidity in the system. It also assists in the reduction of risks faced by firms and businesses in their productive processes, improvement of portfolio diversification and the insulation of the economy from the vicissitudes of international economic changes. Additionally, the system provides linkages for the different sectors of the economy and encourages a high level of specialization expertise and economies of scale. Nzotta further contends that the...