The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has urged professionals and leaders in the banking industry to set a direction that can capitalize on the vast potential within Nigeria’s economy.
Dr. Ken Opara, the President and Chairman of the Council at CIB said, in a world that is rapidly changing, a nation’s success often hinges on its ability to harness its inherent strengths and tackle its challenges. The event, themed “Harnessing Nigeria’s Economic Potential for Growth and Development: Strategic Imperatives,” underscored the immense economic potential present in Nigeria due to its abundant human and natural resources.
President Opara also highlighted the high levels of inequality, both in terms of income and opportunities, which have negatively impacted poverty reduction. He pointed out that the lack of job opportunities is a core contributor to high poverty rates, regional disparities, and social and political unrest. Additionally, the challenge of high inflation has further eroded the welfare of households, pushing more people into poverty.
Considering these myriad challenges, Opara emphasized that the path toward unlocking Nigeria’s economic potential for growth and development is characterized by both promise and complexity. Addressing these issues necessitates visionary leadership and collaborative efforts to transform adversity into opportunity. The journey ahead demands resilience, creativity, and a commitment to shaping a brighter future for the country.
He stressed that it is the responsibility of banking professionals and leaders to chart a course that harnesses the vast potential inherent in the nation’s economy. Innovative strategies and approaches should be explored to drive sustainable growth, foster development, and ultimately improve the lives of all Nigerians.
Opara noted that unleashing this potential requires strategic imperatives that go beyond mere recognition and require deliberate action and innovative thinking. He cited Nigeria’s status as Africa’s largest economy, with a GDP of $477.4 billion, but also pointed out that the country’s human capital development ranked low, highlighting the need for improvement.
Professor Joseph Nnanna, the Chief Economist of Development Bank of Nigeria Plc, who spoke on the theme, emphasized that growth and development encompass far more than just economic indicators. He underscored the importance of economic diversification, human capital development, and infrastructure development as crucial avenues for promoting inclusive sustainable growth.
These strategic imperatives, Nnanna explained, are not isolated solutions and must be complemented by addressing policy implementation, resource allocation, corruption, and leadership. By doing so, Nigeria can move beyond the constraints of its past, leverage its resources, and emerge as a beacon of inclusive growth and development on the African continent.
During the event, a total of 449 individuals received awards, including 20 Honorary Fellows, 154 Elected Fellows, and 275 Honorary Senior Members.
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