Opara takes over CIBN as 22nd president
Pledges to restore pride of banking profession
Dr. Ken Opara has been sworn as the 22nd President/Chairman of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) at an event attended by industry leaders, regulators and political office holders during which he pledged to restore the pride of banking professionals and make it attractive to Generation Z.
Opara took over the CIBN leadership from Dr. Bayo Olugbemi, his predecessor whose two-year term saw the 46-year-old body growing its membership in leaps and digitalising its operations.
Opara promised to build on the achievements of its predecessor and transform the institute. He pledged that he would ensure the institute’s primary business shaped the future of financial intermediation, crafting the strategic focus of his tenure onto an acronym – FUTURE.
The new CIBN leader, who was sworn in by Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi (rtd.) in Victoria Island, Lagos, will oversee the affairs of the Institute till 2024.
Opara brings his knowledge of over 30 years of experience in diverse areas of banking including credit, treasury, retail, consumer and commercial banking, international operations and corporate banking to bear. He held senior management positions in the industry while serving on different committees of CIBN and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Opara, who is also the Executive Director in charge of the Lagos and Southwest Directorate, Fidelity Bank Plc, served as the First Vice President and Chairman, Board of Fellows and Practice Licenses at CIBN.
Among others, he served on CBN Mobile Collateral Registry Committee (2014 – 2017) and CBN N220 billion MSME development fund review Committee (2014)
Opara in his acceptance speech paid tributes to the founding fathers of the Institute who sacrificed and contributed immensely to its growth and development over the years.
Opara told over 5,000 guests, both physical and virtual across the globe: “Our strategic focus is crafted into FUTURE, which focuses on six key strategic pillars – financial innovation and transformation, dealing with industry uncertainties, trade and finance collaboration.
Others are unveiling pathways for membership growth, reengineering and rebranding the industry’s business model around Gen Z and ethical conduct and governance.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (represented by his commissioner for finance, Rabiu Olowo); Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele (represented by Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi), a former deputy governor of CBN, Ernest Ebi and others hailed Opara antecedents and profiles, saying there is no doubt he would build on the success story of CIBN.
Olugbemi noted: “As I pass on the baton to my successor, whom I have known for many years as a seasoned banking professional, who is very passionate about the Institute, I am convinced that he would take the Institute to greater heights.”
Three other officeholders alongside six elected governing council members also took oaths of office at the event.
The elected officials are Prof. Pius Oladeji Olanrewaju (First Vice President), Oladele Alabi (Second Vice President) and Mojisola Bakare-Asieru (National Treasurer).
The new council members are Rafiat Oluwatosin Onitiri, Olayinka Alade Odutola, Victor Aguwah, Olayinka Odutola, Mary Aina and Segun Oshadare.