Banks in Nigeria have been urged to refocus on the fundamentals of their trade in order to stay afloat at a time the industry is facing serious headwinds from slow GDP growth, falling FX reserves/availability and regulatory pressures.
Emeka Onwuka, a member of the Board of Trustees of Financial Markets Dealers Association (FMDA) and former GMD/CEO, Diamond Bank plc, said this yesterday at a book launch in honour of Phillips Oduoza, outgoing GMD/CEO of United Bank for Africa plc, in Lagos.
Onwuka, who was the keynote speaker, said the regulatory pressures on banks include stricter regulatory oversight on Systematically Important Banks (SIBs), slower deposit growth fuelled by lack of economic growth and public sector developments such as TSA, slowdown in lending with liquidity constraints and deteriorating macro environment, and inflation and growing risk premium.
He said the banking industry needed to refocus on offering seamless services to all Nigerians and enterprises, driving further the digitalisation of banking services, eliminating the historic high cost to serve from the branching network, and retaining highest standards on the management credit.
The book, “Dynamics of the Nigerian Financial System: Essays in Honour of Phillips Oduoza”, is a collection of scholarly essays on different aspects of the Nigerian financial system edited by Michael M. Ogbeidi, a professor at the Department of History & Strategic Studies, University of Lagos.
Other speakers at the event – including Tony Elumelu, chairman, UBA Group; Emmanuel Ijewere, managing partner, Emmanuel Ijewere and Co., who was chairman of the occasion; Leo Stan Ekeh, chairman, Zinox Technologies Limited; Alex Otti, former GMD/CEO, Diamond Bank plc; Ernest Nwapa, erstwhile executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, among others – poured encomiums on Phillips Oduoza, who, as GMD/CEO of UBA plc from 2010, “consolidated UBA’s position as a leading bank in Africa with operations in 19 African countries and 3 global financial centres – New York, London and Paris – offering banking and financial services to over eleven million customers”.
The book reviewer, Owolabi Kuye, a professor at the Department of Business Administration, University of Lagos, said the book is a timely intervention, coming at a time the country is looking for solutions to economic downturn occasioned by drop in the global crude oil price, adding that it contains valuable information on the various markets, operators, institutions and instruments that collectively provide financial services in the Nigerian economy.
Source : BusinessDay