Lagos, Oct. 22, 2023: The Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Oliver Alawuba, has urged the banking industry to play a vital role in helping to revive the nation’s economy.
Alawuba gave the advice on the sidelines of the 2023 Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Fellowship Investiture on Saturday in Lagos.
The event had: “Harnessing Nigeria’s Economic Potential for Growth and Development: Strategic Imperatives,’’ as its theme.
Alawuba who was among the honorary fellowship awardees at the event noted that the banking sector has been playing a great role in the development of the economy.
“I would like to say that from time immemorial, the banking industry in Nigeria has played a greater role in the development of the economy of this country.
“And I think at a time like this when the economy is still being challenged, the banking industry can work with other stakeholders to ensure that this economy is revived for the benefit of all Nigerians.
“I believe that the banking industry has the expertise, commitment, and the wherewithal to ensure that the economy is reset for greater development.’’
Alawuba also said that Nigerian banks were at the forefront of the initiative of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for economic integration of the country.
“The banking industry is committed. If you know at the Afrexim AGM conference in Accra, two Nigerian banks signed agreements at that event for development of intra-African trade in Africa, and I know another Nigerian bank also signed such an agreement.
“So, Nigerian banks are in the forefront of the initiatives for intra-Africa trade in AfCFTA because we have the strength and we have the breadth.
“UBA for example is a Nigerian bank with presence in 20 African countries; and that alone will facilitate intra-African trade among those countries where we have presence,’’ he said.
Alawuba, however, said that the benefit of the conferment was to encourage professionals to do more for the banking industry and the country.
Earlier, the CIBN President/Chairman of Council, Dr Ken Opara, described the investiture as an annual event of the institute is conferred on deserving member.
“This is an annual event of the Institute, where the prestigious Fellowship status of the Institute is conferred on deserving members who have meritoriously distinguished themselves whilst making notable contributions to the success of the Institute, their respective organisations, the banking industry and the economy at large.
“In the same vein, deserving members are admitted into the Honorary Senior Membership cadre of the Institute,’’ Opara said.
He noted that it was the first time the institute was conferring a posthumous award on an individual.
He said, “The late Prof. Sunday Oladeji, being conferred with this posthumous award, was a very diligent and committed scholar who served meritoriously as an examiner of the Institute for 33 uninterrupted years.
“He passed on to glory on June 12, 2023, shortly after he was recommended by the Board of Fellows and Practice License for the conferment of the award.’’
Opara congratulated all the deserving awardees of the Institute’s Honorary Fellowship, the Elected Fellows and Honorary Senior Members, as well as their families on the noble accomplishment.
He advised them to continue to excel in their various fields of endeavour and continue to fly the CIBN flag in spheres of influence.
About 449 individuals were conferred awards at the event: 20 Honorary Fellows (including one Posthumous Award), 154 Elected Fellows and 275 Honorary Senior Members.