COVID-19: Leaders Urged to Re-tool in Time of Crisis

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By Peter Uzoho

The Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) has demonstrated its corporate purpose and leadership role in knowledge and capacity building space when it brought together leaders and luminaries from a broad spectrum of industries for a leadership summit held online in Lagos, recently.

The program with the theme: ‘Leading in the time of Crisis’ was opportunity to provide leaders and decision makers with insights to navigating a crisis for which no playbook had hitherto been envisioned or developed.

The speakers at the event were Senior Vice Chairman, Africa Standard Chartered Bank Group, Mrs. Bola Adesola who was the keynote speaker; among others.

In her opening remarks, Managing Director/CEO, FITC, Mrs. Chizor Malize, said the summit was an opportunity for the industry to learn from individuals who have done great things in the past, and still doing great things at present.

This, she said, would enable companies and individuals to hold on to their portfolios, achieve desired goals and prepare for the post COVID-19 crisis period.

According to her, the challenges being faced by companies have never been seen before, and there is a need for collaboration on the way out of the crisis. The event attracted participants from Europe, America, Nigeria, Tanzania, Nairobi, Asia, across other African countries.

According to Malize, COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity for business leaders to build confidence in their workforce, show empathy and leverage on technology. She believes that ICT has a big role to play in the success of today’s business while training of staff on the use of technology to enable work from home remains crucial.

On her part, Adesola, described the theme of the webinar as apt.

According to her, the world has changed, including the way people live and do business. She said the pandemic has had an enormous impact on people’s lives and businesses, hence the need for organisational leaders to effectively lead their teams to ensure continuity and profitability.

Also, the Group Executive, Tech & Services at First Bank, Mr. Callistus Obetta, gave insights on what leaders could do with technology, the fourth industrial revolution, and how FirstBank was responding to COVID-19 pandemic, using technology to connect with its customers and workforce.

He said organisations needed to build resilient business operations beyond the lockdown period, and technology would continue to play a dominant role in achieving this.

In her presentation at the event, Country Head, Human Capital, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mrs. Funke Amobi, explained that crisis management was about organising, directing, and implementing actions that minimise the impact of a threat.

Similarly, the Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Rand Merchant Bank, Adebayo Ajayi, gave insights on CFOs’ roles in the crisis era. He said CFOs needed to dimension the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses in the medium term, while carefully reviewing demand and supply requirements.

The CBN Deputy Governor, Mrs Aishah Ahmad, lauded the management of FITC for the success of the webinar and its insightful theme given that organisations and economies are grappling with the fallout of the covid-19 pandemic and traditional ways of working and assumptions are increasingly becoming irrelevant.