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CIBN to bankers: Develop youth-focused initiatives to drive growth

The new president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has called on bankers to create initiatives to attract youths to the banking profession.

This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by Nelson Olagundoye, head, corporate communication & external relations, CIBN.

Opara took over CIBN’s leadership on Saturday, May 21 in Lagos, and was sworn in by Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi, a retired justice.

Opara, in his acceptance speech, said his strategic focus is crafted into an acronym “FUTURE” which focus on six key strategic pillars: financial innovation and transformation, dealing with industry uncertainties, trade and finance collaboration.

Others include unveiling pathways for membership growth, re-engineering and rebranding the industry’s business model around Generation Z and ethical conduct and governance.

According to him, with globalisation, the future is largely defined by technology, innovation, efficiency, functional optimisation and fast-changing lifestyle.

He said the youthful segment of society is more affected by these changes, adding that there is the need to drive initiatives that will attract them.

‘Nigeria has one of the highest youth populations in the world out of which 62.26 per cent are within the age of 24 years or younger,” he said.

“This demography is aspirational, inquisitive, exploring, innovative, internet-savvy, outspoken, confident, cherishes independence, abhors rigidity as opposed to flexibility, spontaneous and they engage in self-love and expression.

“It becomes, therefore, imperative that practitioners should wake up to the smell of this coffee and weave strategy, operations and practice around the youth.”

Opara added that while concerns around safety, control, stability and processes are quite germane, ignoring the existence of this phenomenon of which time has come will be at the peril of any operator.

He said the institute under his administration will play a pivotal role between the practitioners and the regulators while ensuring adherence to sound corporate governance and ethical behaviour.

In a goodwill message, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, who was represented by Rabiu Olowo, commissioner for finance, Lagos state; applauded the numerous contributions of the banking industry in different areas of the country.

Also speaking, the outgoing president, Olugbemi, thanked Godwin Emefiele, governor of CBN, Hassan Bello, NDIC CEO; body of bank CEOs and other stakeholders for the support given him during his tenure.

“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 absolutely convinced that he would take the Institute to greater heights,” Olugbemi said.

Apart from the inauguration of Opara, three more office holders alongside six elected governing council members also took oaths of office.

The elected office holders of CIBN include Pius Oladeji Olanrewaju, first vice-president (FCIB); Oladele Alabi, second vice-president (FCIB,) and Mojisola Bakare-Asieru, national treasurer (FCIB)

The council members include: Rafiat Oluwatosin Onitiri, ACIB; Olayinka Alade Odutola, FCIB, Victor Aguwah, FCIB; Olayinka Odutola, FCIB; Mary Aina, ACIB; and Segun Oshadare, FCIB.

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