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Business should brace for new normal post-pandemic, says CIBN

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The President/Chairman of Council of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Bayo Olugbemi has said only prepared businesses would compete favourably in the emerging business model that the global pandemic has presented.

According to him, the aftermath of COVID-19 would have more sweeping impacts than the direct impacts of the pandemic itself, hence businesses should tighten their seat belts for the next normal.

Speaking during his investiture as the 21st president of the Institute, Olugbemi said the post-pandemic period would be a dispensation of great opportunities and disappointments of almost equal proportions.

“Opportunities for organisations and sectors that leverage the current experiences to rise like a phoenix, after this passing phase. The corollary is the same: disappointments for organisations and sectors that rely on the business-as-usual in meeting the demands of their stakeholders.

“Hence, COVID-19 among others have made it imperative for entities to refocus their value propositions. The best time to start the repositioning of business strategies is now. The new normal is unarguably giving way for the next normal. Organisations need to double down”, he added.

Olugbemi, who took over the CIBN leadership at the weekend in Lagos, from Dr. Uche Olowu his predecessor, also crafted the strategic focus of his administration in the next two years into the acronym “A-TEAM”.

The new CIBN leader will oversee affairs of the Institute for the next two years. He was sworn in by Honourable Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi (Rtd) at the Bankers House, Council Chamber, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Olugbemi is expected to bring his knowledge of over 38 years’ experience as investment banker to bear on the Institute.

Olugbemi, who is also the Managing Director/CEO, First Registrars & Investor Services Limited had served as the First Vice President and Chairman, Board of Fellows and Practice Licenses at CIBN as well as the President/Chairman of Council, The Institute of Capital Market Registrars and Treasurer, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

“Our desire is to be a global referenced point, an Institute that everyone is proud to associate with, one that sets the agenda for the banking industry, for businesses and the economy as a whole, he said.

Olugbemi promised his stakeholders to explore the possibilities of developing physical structures for the various branches of the Institute where they have landed properties and to pursue the acquisition of lands for the various branches where they have a prospect.

The immediate past President/Chairman of Council of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr. Uche Messiah Olowu also called on stakeholders in the Banking Industry to leverage Emotional Intelligence to build ethical leadership in the Industry.

Olowu made the call while delivering his Presidential Valedictory Address via a webinar as the 20th outgoing President/Chairman of Council of the Institute on the theme ‘Ethical Leadership in Banks and Emotional Intelligence’.

In his Address, he maintained that Leadership will succeed if people are emotionally engaged by priming good feelings in those they lead.

Speaking further, he said that ‘Emotions in interpersonal relationships, service delivery and intrapersonal relationship influence the major parameters in service-oriented firms like banking profession, which are amplified by the digital landscape in which banks operate as pressure are exerted on these parameters.

According to him, because little attention has been paid to emotional intelligence in the banking industry as cognitive processes are adopted for performance assessment, recruitments, and selections, this has encouraged wrong performance, wrong interpretations of human actions and erroneous reflection of organizations’ values in the characteristics of top management as stated in underlying theories of emotional intelligence’.

Olowu held that ‘it is generally perceived that numerous scandals in the banking industry create the impression that corporate culture in banks tolerates unethical behaviour, apart from the fact that banking is a business premised on the capitalist ideal of profit at all cost. This, he said has damaged customers trust.

He explained that ‘the four domains of emotional intelligence that predicts success are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. These domains are strengthened by emotional competencies which comprised individual thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and it is divided into personal and social competencies’.

He went ahead to recommend that, “Ethical leadership behaviour should be encouraged in banks to facilitate success through leadership commitment to ethical values, prudence, and exercise of fair judgement.

Emotional capabilities should be developed to create an atmosphere of trust, cooperation, and ethical leadership.”

He advised the industry to shun pressure of the moment which leads to unethical behaviour and that training for emotional intelligence across the broad spectrum should be executed to arrest discomfort and provide reassurances in time of turbulence and threatening change.


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