Registrar/Chief Executive, CIBN, ‘Uju Ogubunka
By Obinna Chima
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) at the weekend disclosed that it has commenced the certification of operators that intend to set up agency banks in the country.
Registrar/Chief Executive, CIBN, Dr. ‘Uju Ogubunka, revealed while responding to questions from journalists during a briefing ahead of the institute’s forthcoming sixth annual banking and finance conference in Lagos.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had disclosed plans to develop a framework on agency banking in the country, in line with its commitment to promote financial literacy. Agency banking has to do with the use of retail or postal outlets contracted by a financial institution or a mobile network operator for banking transactions.
Ogubunka added: “We have started granting practicing license to members of the institute that are qualified, in preparation for agency-banking, which is going to be part of the arrangement to drive the financial inclusion project and take banking to the rural areas. Bankers who understand what banking is all about will go into the rural areas to deliver banking services.
“The good thing about this is that we don’t just grant license without the person meeting certain criteria. The person involved will also attend an interview session with a board constituted to address this issue.”
Ogubunka also stated that officials of the CIBN had visited India and Malaysia to study the financial inclusion strategies of both countries.
Earlier, the Chairman, Consultative Committee of the CIBN conference scheduled for September 11th and 12th in Abuja, Mr. Akin Fanimokun, said the event would provide a forum for bankers and policy makers in the continent to deliberate on strategic policy measures for economic stability.
According to him, the theme of the conference; “Transformation of the African Economy: Financial Services Industry as Catalyst,” underscores the importance of proactive financial system that will drive the transformation of the continent.
He explained that the objective of the conference was to assess the financial service industry and develop strategies for repositioning it to effectively play its role in the transformation of the African economy.
Fanimokun, who is also the managing director/chief executive officer, First Pension Custodian Limited, added: “It is therefore time for African countries to show serious commitment towards repositioning their economies for sustainable growth and competitiveness.
“Above all, there is need for African leaders to deliberately put in place strategic policy measures that are critical for rapid socio-political and economic stability, growth and poverty alleviation.”
While President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to declare the conference open, the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, will deliver the keynote address.