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Enhancing capacity as CIBN hosts world banking institutes

By Chijioke Nelson
17 March 2017   |   3:09 am
The task of raising capacity in the nation’s financial institutions in line with global best practices has become necessary now than ever, especially with rising debts overhang in the banking industry and the ongoing recession.

Prof. Segun Ajibola, President and Chairman of Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

The task of raising capacity in the nation’s financial institutions in line with global best practices has become necessary now than ever, especially with rising debts overhang in the banking industry and the ongoing recession.

But the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) said it has always been ready, particularly as it is saddled with a role in the country’s Financial System Stability 2020 (FSS 2020). It is vested with the responsibility of developing qualified professionals to meet the defined standards and attracting talents to Nigeria, hence it has raised its bar in capacity building.

The forthcoming World Conference of Banking Institutes, to be hosted by CIBN in Lagos, from March 24 to 28th, would be one of such opportunities to exchange ideas, brainstorm on topical issues and raise the capacity of banking practitioners in the country and that of the stakeholders.

The President and Chairman of Council, CIBN, Prof. Segun Ajibola, at a World Press Conference to announce the forum, which he described as “epic event”, said the institute is not resting on its oars, as it is collaborating with several local and international bodies to achieve its goals.

The theme of the conference is: Re-thinking the Future of Banking and Finance and Lifelong Learning,”

While the Institute has so far certified no fewer than 4000 management staff of the nation’s microfinance banks, he disclosed that the capacity building efforts for banks’ officials has been extended to treasury operations, covering mortgage banking. It has also enlisted 45 universities and polytechnics to strengthen financial education in the country.

According to him, the institute, by law, is to determine the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the banking profession; and the establishment and maintenance of register of members of banking profession in various categories.

It is also to ensure the furtherance, maintenance and observance of ethical standards and professionalism among practitioners of banking in the country.

But speaking on the world banking institutes’ conference, the CIBN chief said the biennial event has become a forum that brings together professionals from the financial services industry and stakeholders engaged in banking, education and training to brainstorm on topical sector-issues.

Former CIBN President and Chairman of the Conference Organising Committee, Dr. Segun Aina, said about 49 high profile speakers and facilitators across continents would address industry issues at the event.

He said the conference, which is the 22nd in the series and the first in West Africa, will explore management issues in the financial institutions and its impact on national and global economies.

Recounting the journey to winning the hosting right, Aina said that it was under his leadership that the proposal was initiated, after the Council’s approval in December 2013.

His successor, Otunba Debola Osibogun, with her team followed through with a successful bidding at the 21st conference in Seoul, South Korea, in 2015, while the arduous task of ensuring a hitch-free hosting now fell on the incumbent President.

The Registrar and Chief Executive of CIBN, Seye Awojobi, while restating that capacity building for the nation’s bankers is always topical for the Institute, disclosed that new modalities for training has been approved to enhance development in line with global best practices.

He stressed that the hosting of the conference is apt and timely, given the fact that Nigeria is currently searching for viable alternatives to reposition and reflate the economy, as well as attract investments into the country.

He assured that the conference will provide the platform to showcase to the entire world the rich cultural heritage, as well as investment potential.
Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the conference, the Global Banking Standards Board (GBEStB), which CIBN is part of its initiators, would be launched with its prospectus, as world’s pacesetter in banking standards.

It would be responsible for developing and promoting global education standards for banking industry, with more than 21 countries already a signatory as founding members.
Ajibola explained that the event would offer opportunities that would lead to the understanding of the impact of technology and globalisation on the financial services sector and how it can be effectively applied to in service delivery for both banks’ customers and banking education/training.

Also, the conference aims to expand participating organisation’s international network and recognition, offer opportunities to explore development collaborations.