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Be Ethical and Professional; Ken Opara to CIBN New Inductees

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Ken Opara-CIBN

CEM REPORT, FINANCE | “In an era characterized by rapid technological advancements, evolving regulatory landscapes, and dynamic market conditions, the importance of ethics and professionalism cannot be overemphasized. It is the cornerstone upon which Trust, Credibility, and Sustainability of the banking industry is built. It is the moral compass that guides our actions and decisions, ensuring that they are rooted in integrity, honesty, and accountability”. These are words of Dr Ken Opara while he charged the newly inducted Professional Bankers, Saturday at the banker’s house.

In a welcome address delivered at the 2024 graduates’ induction and prize awards day (stream 1), the President/Chairman of Council of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), emphasized the institute stand for Ethics and Professionalism in the banking industry. He highlighted the consequence of unethical and unprofessional practices within the financial sector.

He said; “In today’s interconnected and interdependent world, the ramifications of unethical conduct can reverberate far beyond individual transactions, jeopardizing the stability and reputation of financial institutions and the broader economy”.

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These indeed are strong words from Dr Ken Opara to the new inductees whose shoulders rest the future of the Nigerian banking industry especially at this time when the confidence of consumers of banking services needs to be strengthened.

At the Saturday event, a total of 485 graduates were inducted comprising eighteen (18) from the CBMBA route, four (4) from the MSc/ACIB route, 33 from the collaboration with Lagos Business School on Chartered Bankers route, 281 from the regular examination route, and149 candidates as Microfinance Certified Bankers.

Employing the words of Ken Opara as he defines professionalism, these inductees are required to exhibit a commitment to excellence, continuous learning, and adherence to the highest standards of conduct and competence. They are obligated to remain abreast of emerging trends, regulations, and best practices, while also cultivating a culture of collaboration, innovation, and diversity within our institutions.

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This is necessary to continue to focus on building the reputation of the financial sector even in the face of recent challenges and controversies that have tainted the reputation of the industry and weakened public confidence.

“In recent years, the Financial Services Industry has faced numerous challenges and controversies that have underscored the critical need for a renewed focus on ethics and professionalism. Instances of unethical behaviour, regulatory violations, and breaches of trust have tainted the reputation of the industry and weakened public confidence. High-profile cases of misconduct and infractions have not only resulted in financial losses but have also injured the reputation of financial institutions and professionals”; Dr Opara said.

According to CIBN President, the Institute has risen to the challenge by implementing a mandatory annual Ethics Compliance Certification Programme, which is being deployed through the CIBN e-Learning Platform for staff of banks, not only “to address specific cases of misconduct but also to ensure that the practice of banking in Nigeria aligns with global standards as prescribed by the Global Banking Education Standards Board (GBEStB)”.

The Institute has also proposed to establish a full Banking School “which will among other things harp on entrenching ethics and professionalism among practitioners”.

The Keynote address, titled “Ethics and Professionalism: A Prerequisite for Building Sustainable Careers and Institutions”, was delivered by the Managing Director/CEO of Sterling Bank Plc., Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, FCIB.

Mr. Oluyomi Abayomi, FCIB, Lagos State Commissioner for Finance graced the induction award ceremony as special guest. Other personalities that established their presence are 3 past presidents of CIBN Dr. Uche Messiah Olowu, mni, FCIB, Prof Wole Adewunmi, FCIB and Prof. Segun Ajibola, FCIB. Also present were Mrs. Mojisola Bakare-Asieru, FCIB, National Treasurer of CIBN and Akin Morakinyo, HCIB, CIBN Registrar/CEO.

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