The group managing director of United Bank for Africa, Mr. Kenneth Uzoka, together with 184 members of the banking and finance profession has been conferred with fellowship awards by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
The awards were bestowed on the recipients at the annual investiture of the CIBN event held in Lagos recently with the theme: ‘Sound Educational System and Human Capital Development: Imperative for Economic Growth and Development.’
While 110 received the institute’s Honorary Fellowship awards, 75 were conferred with the Honorary Senior Members awards at the annual investiture of the CIBN held in Lagos recently
Among the Honorary Fellowship awardees was Uzoka who was made the chairman, organising committee of the CIBN annual dinner holding in November.
Also, a former governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr. Patrick Conteh and the director-general, budget office of the federation, Dr. Ben Akabueze bagged the Honorary Fellowship award.
Speaking at the event, the president and chairman of CIBN council, Dr. Uche Messiah Olowu, described the awardees as worthy role models and brand ambassadors of the institute.
“Our charge to you all is to uphold ethical conduct and professional values helping to raise the brand equity of our highly revered institute and the banking profession as a whole,” he said.
However, Olowu decried the fall in the quality of human capital and the sorry state of Nigeria’s educational system and called for an overhaul of the current educational system.
“This is an era of knowledge based economy which is based on intellectual property – knowledge and information systems that drive an ever increasing pace of scientific and technological breakthroughs to support production and services.
“Nigeria missed out on the first three industrial revolutions and cannot afford to miss out on the fourth which leverages on technology to boost productivity, create sustainable economic development and a better standard of living. Generally speaking, our aspirations cannot be achieved without a strong and competent workforce.”
He further noted that the financial services sector also has its own dose of lack of skills and has therefore militated against broadening and deepening the financial markets as it were, adding that more professional bankers with the requisite and diverse skills set were needed.
Delivering a paper on the theme of the programme, the guest speaker and former vice chancellor of Igbinedion University, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, called for an urgent review of policies, priorities, objectives and methodologies capable of formulating the agenda for a context-based education at all levels in the country.
“Such review must emphasise context which requires grounding in history in order for students to understand our peculiarities, needs and priorities as a state in urgent need of development,” he said.
With ThisDay report