By Babajide Komolafe
Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika has called on financial institutions to create specialised fund to finance creation of digital solutions.
She made this call in a keynote address delivered at the 2016 annual retreat of the Committee of E-banking Industry Heads (CeBIH) held in Abuja on Thursday.
Speaking on the theme of the retreat, “Disruptive Technology and Future of Payment”, Awosika said that such fund is necessary to facilitate emergence of Nigeria as an exporting nation in terms of digital solutions, adding that this should be part of the agenda of CeBIH as an industry group.
She said: “I think as an organisation you need to mobilise your institutions to create funds to help young minds create solutions.
“As we are buying solutions from around the world, we can be selling solutions from Nigeria. The solutions we create from here can also be sold to the rest of the world. The institutions with the deep pockets should contribute towards research for the developments that are required. As an organisation you should add that to your agenda so that you can impact on the process of building the future.”
She noted that while the financial services industry must embrace technological changes, which have become a regular occurrence, it is the task of CeBIH members to think holistically and come up with responsive solutions that will help the industry leverage these changes.
She said: “My challenge to you as industry professionals is this, as you lead this, lead with a mind of a holistic agenda without a narrow view which is the beauty of your collaborative action. Let the solutions that you proffer be responsible, solving the problems of your industry but also creating solutions for the society at large.”
Addressing the gathering of experts from leading electronic payment firms, CeBIH Chairman and Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank Plc, Mr. Dele Adeyinka said that the focus of CeBIH is collaboration to drive exponential growth of the electronic payment industry.
He said: “CEBIH was established in 2009 with the objective of promoting electronic banking services in line with global best practice and serve as a forum for sharing ideas and experiences among the practitioners saddled with the responsibility of implementing strategies for a strong and thriving electronic business in their respective banks.
“Over the years, the Committee’s focus has been on collaboration and in this spirit, banks have partnered to collectively seek ways of enhancing the industry in a manner that protects the interest of member banks and ultimately the banking public.
“As an association, we have experienced the gains of collaborating to present a common front in addressing issues that affect our business. This is in line with the vision of the founding members as stated in our tag line: “Driving Excellence and Dynamism through Collaboration.” Our desire is therefore to see that this type of collaboration becomes an industry-wide phenomenon.”