DEPUTY Governor, Financial Sector Surveillance, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad has called for increased commitment to integrity and professional ethics among bankers.
This came as former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon called on bankers to stem the tide of news reports on fraud and unethical practices in the industry which reflects decline in integrity in the industry. The duo spoke on the sidelines of the extraordinary investiture ceremony of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, at the weekend.
While Gowon was the special guest at the occasion, Ahmad was honoured with Fellowship of the institute alongside the deputy governor, corporate services of the CBN, Edward Adamu, managing directors of Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Development Bank of Nigeria and Jaiz Bank, Segun Agbaje, Peter Amangbo, Tony Okpanachi and Usman Hassan as well as the chairman of Goldfield Group, Abimbade Yekini.
Ahmad said that the theme of the investiture, “Ethical Dilemma in Financial Institutions: the Way Forward” was apt, adding, “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.”
Noting that upholding the highest level of ethics and professional standards in the banking industry is critical, Ahmad stressed that it is the responsibility of members of the CIBN to “conduct ourselves both in our personal lives and professionals lives at high standards.”
She urged the CIBN to continue to encourage the fellowship recipients to persist in their commitment to enhancing the level of standards of professionals that are working in the financial services sector urging the new fellows of the institute 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.”
On his part, Gowon noted that the Nigerian financial industry has in recent times been in the news for the wrong reasons. He cautioned that the rising trend of bad news constitute a threat to the public trust in the financial industry which thrives on integrity calling on the institute to promote professionalism in the industry.
“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”, he said.