CIBN Conferences; Setting Tone for Industry and National Development

Left to right - Rasheed Bolarinwa, ACAM President, Agubakar Suleiman, MD Sterling Bank, Ken Opara, CIBN President and Seye Awojobi, CIBN Registrar

CEM INSIGHT | The objectives of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, can best be abridged into a two-edge mandate of regulating and building human capacity for the Nigerian banking industry.

The Institute cannot be said to have faltered on this mandate having consistently expanded its membership and evolved into a solid resource bank for the Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria showing off in the contribution of the banking industry to the nation’s gross domestic product.

A closer evidence of this growth and expansion is the pace at which the Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Institute has metamorphosed into a global event of high ranking, a feat that the institute is galvanizing resources to build upon for the forth-coming 2022 edition.

At a World Press Briefing heralding the event, the President and Chairman of Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Ken Opara, FCIB, in his opening speech revealed that membership of the Institute has grown to about 147,950 representing the largest in Africa and one of the largest in the world.

Expansion of membership of an organization such as Institute, is not only a measure of its relevance but a measure of its impact on the industry. The relevance and impact of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria on the Nigerian banking and finance industry is vividly seen in the production of competent personnel for the industry which by extension for other industries and the economy as a whole.

In early March, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, while speaking at the commission of the new Bankers’ House in Abuja, lauded the Institute for its contribution to the economy. He noted that the banking industry contributed about N53.3 trillion to the country’s economy in 2020.

The Industry under the tutelage of CIBN also contributed N37.8 trillion in 2018, N42.7 trillion in 2019 and N53.3 trillion in 2020.

Conferences of the Institute are known to set tone for remarkable developmental discuss and yielding landmark results. The establishment of dedicated financial institution and policies for infrastructural revamp is a yielded advice from one of the conferences held in the past. This year’s edition is set to deliver more economic repositioning topics that deserve immediate and concerted consideration.

According to the Managing Director of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman who is the Chairman of Consultative Committee of the 22nd Annual Banking and Finance Conference, this year’s conference is themed; “Repositioning the Financial Services Industry for an Evolving Glocal Context.”

The Conference scheduled for September 13 to 14, 2022,, is holding at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja and to be delivered in a hybrid format, enabling virtual participation through zoom teleconferencing while the physical is ongoing.

His Excellency, president Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is expected to grace the occasion with his presence along other dignitaries such as his Excellency Professor Yemi Osinbajo GCON SAN, vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Honorable Minister of Finance Republic of Nigeria and Mr Mohammed Musa Honorable Minister of Federal Capital Territory among other invited dignitaries

The Chief Host of the conference is Mr Godwin Emefiele CON FCIB, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria while the host is Ken Opara PhD FCIB, President and Chairman of Council CIBN.

As usual of CIBN conferences, this year’s edition carries a unique word (concept) that elucidates thought around global outlook/occurrences in a local context. The word is ‘Glocal’.

According to the Oxford references, the word describes the seamless integration between the local and global; the comprehensive connectedness produced by travel, business, and communications; willingness and ability to think globally and act locally.

The concept of glocalization captures the dynamic, contingent, and two-way dialectic between the global and the local’ according to Swyngedouw (2004). Works by Brown et al. (2007) show that demand for financial service intermediaries is concentrated in firms operating both at a global and a local scale.

This concept is apt in the current developmental course of Nigeria with her heavy reliance on foreign input into our structures; technological adoption, conceptual integration and operational alliances. This is an issue that is very central to our national drive towards industrial and economic development.

Abubakar Suleiman said on the theme; “Overtime, will realize that there are certain things that we’ve gone global with but in many cases we lost context of where we were in our own local environment. So even when you are thinking about globalization and global trade and global finance, it is our way of making sure we bring it back to Nigeria so that we localize it. The ‘Glocal’ is that, it is going to be global in outlook but it’s going to be local in context so that is not just copying whatever we see across the world.’

Mr Farouk Gumel, the Chairman of Union Bank of Nigeria has been selected to do justice to this theme of the conference following his experiences and education. He will be setting the tone for intellectual discourse that will hallmark the conference as the Keynote Speaker.

Mr. Farouk Gumel is Group Executive Director for TGI Group. He is also the Chairman, Board of Directors at Wacot Rice Ltd, a subsidiary company of TGI Group, and Non-Executive Chairman at the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

His exposure to the accounting and financial world and his participation in the real sector positions him to adequately explore the theme. Prior to joining TGI, Mr. Gumel was a Partner at PwC and Head of the West African Advisory/Consulting business, covering Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola.

Mr. Gumel holds a BSc. in Materials Technology (Leather) from the University of Northampton and MSc. in Clean Technology from Newcastle University. He is also a chartered accountant with Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

A total of 48 season resource persons have been carefully selected to discuss the various topics and provide sustainable and workable solutions.

The conference is structured to feature five business and for breakout sessions with highly engaging topics that are critical to repositioning of Nigeria banking and financial services industry for competitiveness within global contest while stay locally relevant.

The topics for the business sessions are

  1. Banking in Africa the role of AfCFTA and PAP SS
  2. Nigeria economy in the last 5 years, Lesson learnt and choices to make in the 5 years
  3. Workforce Globalization: Opportunities and Threats
  4. Banking and Fintech: the Nexus and opportunities
  5. Climate change: the role of financial services sector

The breakout sessions will focus on contemporary and pragmatic issues including

  1. Sustainable Financing: Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions for the Energy sector
  2. Food security: Unlocking Nigeria’s potential to feed Africa
  3. Creative Economy: scaling for jobs
  4. Harnessing the untapped opportunities in Nigeria Health care system

Another paradigm shift from previous conferences is that, at this year’s event, ongoing research finding on the ‘Analysis of Human Capital Attrition in a Global Context; a Case Study of the Financial Services Industry’, will be sheared for information of stakeholders and in value addition to the 15th annual banking and finance conference.

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In conclusion, Suleiman noted that this year’s conference will be uniquely different from previous ones. Apart from providing the participants a platform to have connect with other professionals and Industry stakeholders across the world, the conference promises to be intellectually engaging and stimulating.

The business and breakout sessions have been carefully structured to address and provide enduring interventions to the myriad challenges confronting Nigeria business ecosystem and the financial services industry.

In addition there is a firmed up arrangement to integrate the millennial or gen y and gen Z as part of the primary target group to drive conversation at the conference.

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