Ahead of his investiture in May, the President-elect of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr. Ken Opara, is looking forward to leading the organisation to build a banking profession that is flexible enough to appeal to Generation Z and thrive on innovation rather than regimentation while consolidating on the gains of the current leadership.

CIBN held its 2022 yearly general meeting at the weekend where Opara was elected as the 22nd President/Chairman of the Council of the Institute. He will succeed Dr. Bayo Olugbemi whose two-year tenure is known for laying a foundation for the digital transformation of the 46-year-old institute.

In an interview with The Guardian shortly after his election, Opara said he would focus, on the ‘catch-them-young programme pursued vigorously by Olugbemi, adding that banks must find more innovative ways to “attract and work with Generation Z” who are not given to regimented work culture of the older generation.

He admitted the banking profession has lost its appeal to the younger generation, adding that CIBN will leverage innovation hubs and other creative initiatives to create excitement around banking to make the majority of students look forward to the profession.

“Digital transformation within CIBN and among the banks is key. The process has long started, which is the reason members could participate in the election and AGM online today. We will continue to build on the process,” he noted, adding that his team would focus on digital and trade certification. He listed research and planning, capacity building and trade facilitation partnership as some of the areas CIBN would continue to focus on.

Other elected officers are Prof. Pius Oladeji Olanrewaju (First Vice President), Oladele Alabi (Second Vice President) and Mojisola Bakare-Asieru (National Treasurer). Governing Council member-elects are: Dr. Victor Ndubuisi Aguwah, Olayinka Alade Odutola, Mary Oluwakemi Aina and Segun Oshadare. The elected officers are to serve from 2022 to 2024.

In its financial report, the Institute recorded an improved internally generated revenue (IGR) of N1.766 billion in 2021 as against N1.468 billion recorded in 2020.

The change represented a growth of 20.3 per cent, which the officials said was an indication the institute was strategically moving towards its financial independence.

Also, the year closed with a net operating surplus of N800.14 million in 2021, which reflects a 40.31 per cent increase from N570.26 million posted in 2020.

Speaking on the 2021 operations, Olugbemi informed the members that the institute “stands tall as a vanguard for the promotion of banking education and professionalism in Nigeria and the world, at large”. He said the number of individual members grew from 144,922 as at April 30, 2021, to 149,967 as at March 24, 2022, representing a year-on-year increase of 3.5 per cent.

CIBN, according to him, collaborated with Wrights & Co. to conduct the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorist Financing (Basic and Advance Level) and Enhanced Product Development and Customer Relationship Management Training Programmes with a total of 23,274 members of the institute benefiting from the free programme. He added that he has executed the long-desired collaboration agreement for the MBA/SMP/ACIB Linkage Programme with the Lagos Business School. The agreement, he said, would allow interested candidates to run the MBA/SMP programme at prestigious Lagos Business School and qualify with dual qualifications of MBA/SMP and ACIB.