Gowon, Ahmad Harp on Ethics, Integrity in Banking

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Yakubu Gowon

Nume Ekeghe

The Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ms.  Aisha Ahmad has stressed the need for bankers to build and uphold integrity in their daily dealings.

Also, a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has urged bankers to ensure that they adhere to integrity and abide by regulations in the banking system.

Gowon, who was the special guest at the extraordinary Investiture ceremony of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), at the weekend noted that the Nigerian financial industry has in recent times been in the news for the wrong reasons.

The former president said the rising trend of bad news constitutes a threat to the public trust in the financial industry which he said thrives on integrity.

Gowon said: “The Nigerian banking and finance industry has in recent time been plagued with frauds and unethical practices. No day passes without reports of frauds and other unethical practices in the industry.

“This constitutes a big threat to the values of trust and professionalism which ought to be the basic principles of the banking industry.”

On her part, Ahmad noted that upholding the highest level of ethics and professional standards in the banking industry was critical, stressing that it was the responsibility of members of the CIBN to conduct ourselves both in our personal lives and professionals lives at high standards.

Ahmad, was honoured with Fellowship of the institute together with the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services of the CBN, Mr. Edward lamtek Adamu, the Managing Directors of Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Development Bank of Nigeria and Jaiz Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, Mr. Peter Amangbo and Mr. Tony Okpanachi and Usman Hassan respectively, as well as the Chairman of Goldfield Group, Mr. Abimbade Yekini.

She urged the CIBN to continue to encourage members to remain committed to enhancing the level of standards of professionals.

She said: “The new fellows of the institute to are to be role models and mentors to other professionals in the banking industry and also to support the institute in its broader activities in terms of what it is trying to do in building capacity of bankers and their professionalism.”

Noting that the theme of the investiture “Ethical Dilemma in Financial Institutions: The Way Forward,” was fitting, she said: “We all need to build in ourselves that high sense of integrity and do the right thing. Usually, when you are very clear about your value it is easier to solve ethical dilemmas.”

On his part, the Chairman of Council of the CIBN, Mr. Uche Olowu noted that the financial crisis of 2009, “was brought about by dubious and illicit activities of bankers who granted sub-prime mortgages to low-income customers with troubled credit histories.

“As history has taught us, ethics and professionalism are the cornerstones of the banking business and it is practically impossible to implement sustainable banking principles without good ethical conduct. Today, the banking profession does not command respect as it used to.

He said: “So concerted efforts must be made to steer it back to its rightful position. To achieve this, we must be sure that both the current and next generation of bankers are men and women of the highest professional and personal integrity and honesty, trusted and respected by the banking public alike.

“All stakeholders in the industry should join hands to help restore the reputation and standing of the banking profession in the society.”