Monday, August 30, 2021
/ 10:31 AM / By CIBN / Header Image Credit: CIBN
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria urged banks and employees to leverage more than ever on technology to deliver products and services to their numerous customers at their convenience.
Dr. Bayo Olugbemi, President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, made the call during the weekend at the virtual 2021 CIBN Graduates Induction and Prize Awards Day with the theme: "Breaking New Grounds: Positioning for Global Competitiveness".
Olugbemi said that a total of 672 new members were admitted into various categories of membership, 321 candidates for the flagship ACIB programme, 41 candidates on the Chartered Banker MBA programme, 19 candidates on MSc/ACIB programme and 291 candidates on Microfinance Certification Programme across four countries including Nigeria; The Gambia, Ghana and Sierra-Leone.
The induction, an annual ceremony of the Institute, is the forum where student members who have completed their examinations and fulfilled all other conditions set by the Governing Council are formally admitted into full professional membership of the Institute.
Olugbemi told participants that 'the pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation, as such, the future which was anticipated would come in some years' time is here, and technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Machine Learning (ML), Coding and Programming, Blockchain, Cloud computing etc. are being used to develop unique and bespoke products suited to customers changing needs.
He urged them to be mindful of the seven deadly sins as propounded by Mahatma Gandhi, which are;
"The world is yours to take; the world is waiting for you, be the best that you can be, be the best version of yourself, believe in yourself, reach for your peak and aim for the top," he said.
Mr Niyi Yusuf, Guest Speaker and Managing Partner, Verraki Business Solution for Africa, said that the global economy evolved from agriculture to the connection economy, identifying technology as the main driver of growth and change. "For example, instead of using a branch as the sole means of service delivery, we now use the Internet, Web, ATM and mobile Apps as a way of service delivery, and instead of doing pure cash or cheque, we use cards. Of recent, we are beginning to use Bitcoin, and so; we realize that technology is driving these changes," he said.
"In this world, either you disrupt, or become disrupted, but you cannot stay in a place; you need to keep moving. That suggests that for us as Bankers, old skills will not be sufficient for today's world, and you will need to keep developing new skills. It would help if you kept reinventing yourself so that you also can be relevant in the world of tomorrow," Yusuf advised.
He named innovators such as Interswitch, Flutterwave, Kuda, and others as banking sector disruptors, stressing the sector's need to step-up, beyond digitalization. Yusuf urged Bankers also to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area ( AfCFTA) and be ready for the next opportunity that digitalization and AfCFTA combine to offer. He said that "the next opportunity that I see is AfCFTA, which essentially turns the market into a market of 1.3bn African".
"So your market is no longer the 20 million in Lagos or the 500 thousand on your street or the 200 million in Nigeria, but rather your market becomes the entire African Continent. Part of the AFCFTA opportunity is the need to feed everyone, to clothe everyone, to house everyone, and when you do whole of this, it is about Credit, Payment, Trade and Financing," he said.
In his comments, Mr Hassan Bello, Special Guest of Honour and Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), reassured CIBN of his organizations' support and commended the Institute for its various initiatives in Banking services, Associateship Examinations and Certification programmes.