Olarenwaju becomes 23rd CIBN President as expert task institute on economy

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By Grace Alegba

The Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has sworn in Prof. Pius Olarenwaju as its 23rd President and Chairman of Council.

He was sworn in at a hybrid investiture programme convened at Victoria Island, on Friday inLagos.

Delivering his acceptance speech, the new CIBN President, Prof. Pius Olarenwaju, said the banking sector had remained resilient in spite of various economic shocks.

He said that his strategic focus would be to bequeath generational transforming legacies building on the achievements and innovations of his predecessors in office, adding that change was “inevitable”.

Olanrewaju listed particular areas of focus to include financial innovation, completion of ongoing projects, strategic engagement of shareholders, tackling emerging issues from recapitalisation, and collaboration with the government to ensure the nation’s economic progress.

He promised not to accept defeat but to take bold advantage of the situation through enhanced professionalism determined for excellence.

Olarenwaju also promised promotions of integrity and ethics among CIBN members, and inclusivity of gender across the nation to drive creativity, youth engagement and financial inclusion.

Others, he added, included boosting of membership economy, international and regional partnerships, among others.

He said plans by the CBN and banking reform required supporting of the CIBN and other stakeholders, which had his strong support.

“Will we just accept these challenges and do nothing, no, we will do something,” he said.

He explained the roles of older members in passing down the torch of excellence, promising to deliver on the CIBN mandate.

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“We are going to run a responsive government,” he said.

Full of praises for his predecessor’s achievements and impacts, Olarenwaju thanked God for making the transition seamless.

He thanked Babcock University where he was once an employee for giving professionals within their employment special status and paying them special salaries.

Chairman of the occasion, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Founding Partner, Wole Olanipekun and Co, on Friday, urged CIBN to proffer solutions to the nation’s economic challenges.

Olanipekun, a former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), said that the CIBN as an institution critical to the growth of the economy owed a duty to the nation to chart the right economic direction.

He emphasised the need to build strong institutions rather than individuals in Nigeria, to get the right implementable policies for the rapid development of the nation.

He said that, unlike the NBA, the CIBN was empowered by legislation to sue and be sued, hence, its enormous powers to initiate and pursue implementation of economic and financial reforms.

He said that the CIBN needed to continuously proffer solutions to Nigerian economic challenges.

He advised the new CIBN President, Prof. Pius Olarenwaju, not to drop the strong baton of good leadership handed over to him by his predecessor but to lead the association to a new enviable height.

Dr Ken Opara, immediate past President/Chairman of Council, CIBN expressed satisfaction with achievements during his tenure as he handed over while reeling out the qualities of his successor.

He assured that Olarenwaju and his team would lead the institute to new enviable heights.

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Mrs Emily Osuji who represented Bello Hassan, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NDIC commended Opara’s contributions that produced growth in the banking sector while congratulating Olarenwaju for taking over the mantle.

Hassan said digitalization had increased exposure to cyber attacks hence the need for collaboration of all stakeholders towards reducing vulnerability.

Hassan enumerated efforts of the NDIC in ensuring effective deposit insurance that is credible to mitigate risks.

He reassured the support of NDIC in ensuring a sound banking system in the nation while pledging a partnership with the CIBN to promote a healthy banking industry.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas represented by a member, Nwachuku Eze commended Opara’s leadership where the banking sector achieved a “milestone”.

He said the institute had been a rallying point in driving growth and credibility in the banking sector.

Abbas said the banking sector had a critical role to play in the nation’s economy, adding that the CIBN had continued to uphold high standards to ensure the resilience of the sector.

He urged the new leadership of Olarenwaju to embrace changes brought about by evolving technology.

He called for inclusive growth through continued capacity building of its members while urging the new president to ensure that the banking industry uphold financial inclusion.

He said that the National Assembly was working on coming up with legislation to ensure microfinance banks were better equipped to partner the government in reaching the grassroots.

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

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