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Gowon, CBN chief, Olowu call for improved ethical banking

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The call for strong ethical banking, as opposed to ethical dilemma, now besetting the financial sector, resonated at the Extra-ordinary Fellowship Investiture by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), in Lagos, last Thursday.

Two of CBN’s deputy governors- Aisha Ahmad, who charges the Financial System Stability Directorate and Edward Lamite, of Corporate Services Department, were among the seven awardees, at the event themed: “Ethical Dilemma in Financial Institutions: The Way Forward”.

For Ahmad, there is the “responsibility for us to conduct ourselves both on our personal and professional lives in these high standards, to be role models and mentors to other professionals in the banking industry.”

She said that the work of the institute and its commitment to upholding the highest level of ethics and professional standards in the banking industry are not only critical, but very important, in ensuring a reputable industry capable of handling any possible dilemma.

According to her, while the institute is trying hard in building capacity of bankers and their level of professionalism, it is the duties of all to support its broad activities in terms of what it’s

“The topic was very apt and my key takeaway is that we need to build in ourselves that high sense of integrity and doing the right thing. Usually when you are very clear about your values, it’s easier to solve ethical dilemmas,” she said.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has tasked professionals in the banking industry to maintain and observe ethical standards and professionalism to keep the industry safe from fraud.

Gowon, who was a guest speaker at the event, noted that Nigerian banking and finance industry has in recent times, been plagued with reports of frauds and unethical practices.

He maintained that the high number of reported fraud cases and other unethical practices in the industry constitute a threat to the values of trust and professionalism, which ought to be the basic principles of the banking industry.

The statesman stressed the need for CIBN to ensure the furtherance, maintenance and observance of ethical standards and professionalism among practitioners of the banking profession to make the industry safe again.

He urged stakeholders to join hands in waging the war against unethical practices in the banking and finance industry, noting that it’s the only way to secure a bright future for generations to come.

But the President and Chairman of Council, CIBN, Dr. Uche Messiah Olowu, said the Fellowship award is the apex membership category of the institute that is bestowed on those who distinguished themselves within the banking industry in Nigeria and beyond, noting it was a call for higher service to the industry and economy at large.

“The Institute has consistently pursued its mandate by providing learning and development opportunities for thousands of aspiring and existing bankers. While much has been achieved, there is still much more to be accomplished.

“As history has taught us, ethics and professionalism are the cornerstones of the banking business and it is practically impossible to implement sustainable banking principles without good ethical conduct.

“The awardees are therefore, expected to join forces and play critical roles in the strategic goals and indeed, further realisation of the institute’s mandate.”

Today, the banking profession does not command respect as it used to. So concerted efforts must be made to steer it back to its rightful position.

“To achieve this, we must be sure that both the current and next generation of bankers are men and women with the highest professional and personal integrity, honesty, trusted and respected by the banking public alike.”

He urged all stakeholders in the industry to recommit themselves to the institute’s determined goal of making a difference and restoring the reputation and standards of the banking profession in the society.


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