June 12, 2024

The Claver Magazine

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CIBN Executives Meet Senate, Seek Support for Passage Of Institute’s Act Amendment Bill

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The Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, chaired by Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru (Lagos East), received the Executives of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), led by its President/ Chairman of Council, Dr. Ken Opara at the Senate on Thursday. The body of professional bankers in Nigeria sought the support of the Nigerian Senate for passage of the amendment Act bill.

According to them, the amendment became imperative in the light of current realities in banking and finance landscape vis-a-vis the emerging innovations in the sector.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abiru, a retired bank Chief Executive, who is also an accomplished accountant and economist, assured the CIBN Executives of the co-operation of the National Assembly, particularly the Senate in ensuring that rules and best standard practices are adhered to in the nation’s banking sector.

He said, “ As the umbrella professional body for bankers in Nigeria, we consider you partners in progress in the task of repositioning the country’s financial sector and achieving the eight-point agenda of the present administration which revolves around the welfare of the people”.

Senator Abiru further noted that the courtesy visit was timely in view of the current economic challenges facing the nation. He said, “ I wish to note that this visit by your Institute (as a matter of fact, our Institute since I am also a Fellow of the Institute) is very timely: Coming at a time the National Assembly is debating amendments to the CBN Act as well as other related issues to help the government and the CBN navigate the current economic challenges posed by rising inflation and persistent naira depreciation”.

While commending the CIBN for upholding professional excellence in banking and financial services sector in the last 60 years, Senator Abiru challenged the body and other stakeholders to address the contribution of the banking sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, which is less than five percent, despite growth and increase in share prices of the financial services sector.

He also commended the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to recapitalize the banks. Senator Abiru argued that with an increased capital base, the banks will not only be able to finance large-ticket projects, invest in Information Technology with a view to modernizing their operations, but will also be positioned to compete in the global scene.

NDIC President/Chairman of Council , Dr. Ken Opara, in his response commended the dynamic leadership of Senator Abiru as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions. He specifically hailed the informed questions and economic issues he raised during the engagement session with the CBN Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso.”The engagements you had and the issues you raised such as Inflation, FX, IMTO and the clarification on the 43 banned items are all issues of interest to the banking public. We also commend you on the proactive steps taken by this Committee to comprehensively review the extant laws within the financial services sector, aimed at fostering economic sustainability and growth”, Opara said.

The President of the CIBN added that if the CIBN Act is amended, everyone working in the banking sector will be held accountable for misconduct or financial crimes.

According to him, “In the current amendment, we want to capture everyone working in the banking industry in Nigeria for the purpose of upholding ethics and professionalism CBN, NDIC, and banks are to send reports of allegations of misconduct to the Institute.

Dr Ken also revealed the plans of the institute to expand its name and coverage. “ The expansion of the Institute’s name to include ‘Finance” to conform to the Institute’s coverage and best practice: “Chartered Institute of Banking and Financial Services”. -Section 1 to cover institutions under the regulation of CBN, especially non conventional banks.