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Bankers’ institute pledges financial institutions’ commitment to SANEF

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President and Chairman of Council, CIBN, Uche Olowu


The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has said that financial institutions in Nigeria are committed to the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF), which is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bankers Committee that entails an aggressive roll out of 500,000-agent network to offer basic financial services.

The initiative was designed to offer basic financial services such as cash-in, cash-out, funds transfer, bills payments, airtime purchase, government disbursements and to give more Nigerians access to financial services and generate over 500,000 new jobs by the year 2020.

Speaking at the institute’s yearly general meeting in Lagos, President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Dr. Uche Olowu, said though 2020 may likely not be visible in achieving the aim of the initiative, banks are making giant strides in actualising the set goals. “SANEF is being taken seriously by the banks and I can tell everyone that it is in the banks’ interest to get involved in it because the resources realised would get into the banking system and would help for better intermediation and resources can be allocated efficiently.

“SANEF has come to stay. I have the commitment of all the banks and they are involved in it. So, we would pursue it, but realising that goal in 2020 is not likely, but we will go to great length in getting the goal realized,” he said.Olowu noted that fintechs possess a lot of advantages in achieving the goals of the initiative, leveraging on technology to render financial services, though they are being faced by the challenge of cyber security attacks.

Olowu stated that though all players in the finance sector recognise the cyber security threats, “it’s one thing to recognise the threats and another to put up certain mechanism that will protect the banking industry.” However, he assured that the banks are doing the needful in making sure that cyber security threats does not become the order of the day.

“We as an institute in furtherance to this, in conjunction with certain international agencies are making sure that our people have the capacity building in combating this threats.“The point is, there is disruption in the banking industry. There has been evolution from barter to commodity, to paper money and people have argued, that our reserves are not being backed by anything tangible,” he added.

Meanwhile, Olowu projected that there is going to be a disruption of paper money by cryptocurrencies.He said: “Let’s not make any mistake about it. Certainly, it will come when currency will be digital and banks are ready because it’s part of progress and development that is happening.

“We are developing our intellects more to appreciating our environment and making sure that life is more comfortable.”and so it’s not something that we should be afraid of in terms of development that is happening. Banks are ready in whichever way.”
In his remarks, the Registrar/Cheif Executive of CIBN, Seye Awojobi, noted that the banking standard initiative released in 2018 by the Global Banking Education Standards Board (GBEStB) in collaboration with CIBN, would help improve ethical culture within the banking industry. He urged all banking practitioners, regulators and other stakeholders to endorse the GBEStB’s initiative and ensure compliance in accordance with global best practices, as it would revamp financial stability.


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SANEFUche Olowu
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