By Babajide Komolafe
Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), the umbrella body of non-executive directors of banks, has charge non executive directors in the four recently licensed banks to protect the interest of all stakeholders.
BDAN President, Olorógun Dr. Sunny Kuku gave this charge at the luncheon organised by the Association for new members from Heritage Bank Limited, Jaiz International Bank, Rand Merchant Bank and FSDH Merchant Bank.
Advising the non-executive directors of the banks, Kuku said, “First, they should ensure they are trained in governance especially for financial institutions; it is not exactly the same like where we are coming from.
“Then, they should also realise that there is a lot of responsibility is put on them. And one of the most important things is that they must have knowledge, they must know everything that is going on because ignorance is not an excuse. They should go and read the governance code of the CBN. They cannot claim ignorance. Then they must not interfere with operations, just as management must not interfere with oversight.
“They must also realise that the stakeholder is not just the shareholders whom they represent but also the depositors and creditors, as well as the regulators. So they must not only look after the interest of the shareholders but also after the interest of depositors and creditors. If they do that, then they would be successful”.
On his part, Guest Speaker and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Sir Steve Omojafor advised the new members to always consider the legacy they want to leave behind. He said, “So, how do you want to be remembered? By all standards, you have worked hard since you left school, some prefer to say university, and you have worked your way from apprenticeship to the top of your career.
An adage says that “a good name is better than gold.” Do you share in this old, may be, worn-out sentiment? So what legacy will you leave behind, besides your wealth? (Which others might help you squander when you are gone, anyway!) What will society remember you for, besides being one of the big boys who had so much money and didn’t know what to do with it?
“Will you be remembered as the highly principled, yet successful professional) who never compromised on integrity? One, who contributed a little extra to uplift crumbling standards, One, who helped send an indigent youth to school? Helped dig a borehole for the community?
Contributed to building a school, a church or a mosque? What will your own children remember you for, besides being that rich, successful parent, who could afford the best of everything for them – holidays in Disney Land, Dubai, Paris or may be Florida? What values are you leaving behind for your children to inherit? I mean) values that will see them through the challenges of life, long after you’re gone?”