The Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Heirs Holding, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has stressed the need for students and young professionals in the financial services sectors to update their knowledge and embrace modern technology.
This, he said would enable them remain relevant and succeed in the profession.
Elumelu, said this while delivering a paper at the 2019 Annual Lecture of the Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Lagos, Ojo Campus, with the topic, “The Future of Finance –Technology at Play.”
The UBA chairman who was represented at the occasion by the Executive Director, UBA, Mr. Ayoku Liadi, told the students that the, “key to continuous relevance is staying awake and staying disruptive.”
He said: “I usually consider it a great privilege to address young innovative minds, especially in a reputable institution of learning like Lagos State University.
“The reason is because it is a rare opportunity to address or contribute to ‘the future.’ The future is here and you are the future!
“However, I will like you to note certain points that may shape the future of someone here today. The key to continuous relevance is staying awake and staying disruptive.
“Therefore, ‘Stay Awake! Stay Disruptive!!’ What does it mean to stay awake and to stay disruptive? It means to: Always be on the cutting edge of knowledge and emerging innovations in the marketplace.
“Constantly seek better, easier, more effective and perhaps, cheaper ways of doing things. Never, never, accept the status quo. Have a learning mindset, one that is ready to embrace changes no matter how ‘sudden, rude, unexpected or uncomfortable’ those changes might be.
Elumelu added: “Remember, the only constant thing in this fast-paced world is change. The future you will experience is one of your creation, imagination, vision and exposure.
“You may not be able to see the future; but with the right insight, you can prepare for it. This means the future favours only the prepared.
“Think ‘GLOCAL’ – have a global outlook towards life, while not neglecting local considerations. Keeping pace with changing technology is the number one initiative that the finance function must embrace in today’s fast-changing world.”
While emphasising the need to build finance and banking professionals that would meet the demands of the finance function of the future, Elumelu advised the academia on need to graduate from imparting traditional technical accounting and finance skills, to embracing modern technologies in the delivery of skills needed to build a global finance professional of the future.
According to him, “as finance graduates and professionals, we need to be aware that it is no longer business as usual, and with the fast-changing landscape, it will never be business as usual.
“Traditional knowledge of finance is getting stale in today’s business world and indeed there is dire need for retooling our skills if we must remain relevant in tomorrow’s financial world”.
Earlier in his remark, the Chairman of the occasion and Executive Secretary, Institute of Entrepreneurship, Dr. Rotimi Oladele, described the topic of the lecture as “apt and a round peg has been fitted into the round hold.”
“For me, I see the future as where the air will replace currency, coins, cheques, ATM/Cards, teller, invoice, receipt and whatever. All that is needed will be keyboarding. Once you have your codes, you press buttons and buy or sell or deposit or withdraw,” he added.