The President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Prof. ‘Segun Ajibola has stressed the need for bankers in the country to adhere to ethics and professionalism in the industry.
The CIBN boss said this during the 2016 Fellowship Investiture of the institute held in Lagos recently.
Ajibola said on the part of the institute, in the bid to further entrench ethics and professionalism in the sector, the CIBN has been collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that all bank workers attested to and adhere strictly to the Code of Conduct in the Nigerian Banking Industry.
“For instance, the conduct of some members, are currently being investigated while a member who was found guilty of violation was deregistered,” he disclosed.
According to him, there is no gainsaying the fact that the economic indicators in the country are already stretched as inflation rate remained at a stubbornly high level of 17.9 per cent as at the end of September, 2016, the highest since October, 2005.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) officially announced the country’s plunge into recession in August 2016 after two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reviewed downward the 2017 growth prospects for Nigeria by 0.5 per cent. The pressure on foreign exchange still persists in spite of government and regulatory institutions’ efforts aimed at addressing it with the naira exchanging to a dollar at $465.
In addition, the level of non-performing loans (NPL) rose to 11.7 per cent from 5.3 per cent this year, exceeding the prudential limit of five per cent and resulting in a muffled low growth in the banking industry.
Therefore, Ajibola pointed out that the foregoing calls for collective effort by the government and all relevant stakeholders to develop feasible policy interventions that would address the lacklustre performance of the economy.
He said the federal government should as a matter of priority and urgency initiate policies to deepen the diversification of the Nigerian economy and attracting foreign investors. “These can be done through the provision of infrastructure, promotion of agricultural policies to drive self-reliance, the reduction of imports and redirection of attention to tapping the abundant mineral resources in the country.
“Let me quickly reiterate the fact that professionals across all sectors of the economy also have important roles to play for the country to be salvaged from its current economic challenges. There is the need for them to continually display their competence, loyalty to the nation and commitment to excellence whether in private practice or public service.
“The central position and pivotal role of the banking and finance sector as the engine of growth in any economy make it even more compelling for banking and finance professionals, including today’s awardees, to bring their knowledge and skills to bear in the daily discharge of their duties in whatever capacity they find themselves,” the CIBN boss added.