The finance and banking community will next week witness a new arrival in the anthology of banking sector intellectual research and publication. The book, ‘Inside Nigerian Banks’, written by Nik Ogbulie, a Lagos based financial journalist, captures the state of the Nigerian banking sector, with special reference to the series of developments, innovations, infractions, hopes, aspirations and disappointments within the various banking institutions in the last sixteen years.
The 310 page book presents an insight into the economic intelligence outlook of Nigerian banks, with the intention of releasing their various properties and characteristics, in such a way that equity investors and services delivery consumers would quickly make their long-term decisions to avoid being caught in the web of the inconsistencies the author has perceived in many banks.
The book will be presented to the cream of the financial sector on Wednesday, November 9th, at the Lecture Theatre of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos under the Chairmanship of Okenmor Fidelis Tilije, Honourable Commissioner for Water Resources Development, Delta State. A former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Professor Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, will be the special guest of honour while Head Strategy, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Jibril Aku and MD/CEO , Aquila Leasing Limited and Chairman of Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), Chuka Onwuchekwa will be guests of honour.
Divided into eight chapters, ‘Inside Nigerian Banks’ offers readers the benefit of hindsight in its first chapter , ‘from Revolution to Reformation’, where the activities of the last four Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were analyzed in line with the effectiveness or the efficiency of their policies in the consolidation mantra. The book was chronological in buttressing the roles of the governors in the sanity that the industry enjoys and was even more critical in its presentation of the various controversies in some of the policies that trailed a lot of the decisions by each governor. Short of rating the performances of the various governors, there are obvious imputations in the book that explain the proficiency of each governor above the other in all those efforts that were tailored to instill decorum in the industry. However, the book is of the opinion that the last four governors have performed very patriotic functions in national economic development by concentrating on an industry that has been eager to meets global competitiveness.
The highpoint of the book is the author’s courage in dedicating the book to a woman he considers as the brain behind the success of the consolidation project, Professor Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke. According to him, the various efforts like local and international road-shows , as well as high net-worth alliances with globally high-niche markets and equity franchise magnates propelled the perception of the Nigerian market and urged the investors to go for the Nigerian markets first. The book noted that her tenure came with a drive that was consistent with the commitment to offer enough openings for all banks to raise cheap funds. It also mentioned that this motive did not only benefit the banks but caused an over-flow of investible funds into other equities than banks alone, to the extent that a bench-mark of over N14 trillion capitalisation was recorded. According to the book, the dedication was a way of encouraging Nigerian CEOs to embrace cross-section alliances as sine qua-non to national economic growth. The book noted that the Okereke-Onyiuke’s leadership model is what Nigerians need to cultivate enduring growth alliances in the economy.
The book takes a copious look into all the banks and came up with positions that may continue to determine the rating of many agencies on our banks over time based on the depth of its data and the antecedents of the author who has spent some 26 years reporting the industry, the economy, public policies of the Nigerian governments, the World Bank/IMF and the nuances of other multilateral financial institutions on Nigeria. In précised presentations, the about twenty banks are put in their proper places in terms of the future of their trade , and this forms a major basis for their going forward in the maze of struggles the industry is experiencing today. The book, in all the detailed chapters may have set a platform for another intensive reform or has set up an interest for a new merger deal, signs of which current developments in the industry third quarter results may be giving credence to. Carefully read, the book tries to tell Nigerians that the industry has come of age, but must watch their banks.