At an event attended by industry leaders, regulators, and political office holders, Dr. Ken Opara was sworn in as the 22nd President/Chairman of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), during which he pledged to restore banking professionals’ pride and make it appealing to Generation Z.
Dr. Bayo Olugbemi, Opara’s predecessor, took over the CIBN leadership after a two-year period that saw the 46-year-old organization boost its membership and digitalize its operations.
Opara promised to build on its predecessor’s accomplishments and reform the institute. He promised that the institute’s principal business would impact the future of financial intermediation, encapsulating his strategic focus in the abbreviation FUTURE.
Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi (rtd.) swore in the new CIBN chief in Victoria Island, Lagos, and he will manage the Institute’s affairs until 2024.
Opara provides over 30 years of experience in a variety of financial disciplines, including credit, treasury, retail, consumer, and commercial banking, international operations, and corporate banking. He held high executive positions in the sector while also sitting on various CIBN and Central Bank of Nigeria committees (CBN).
Opara served as the First Vice President and Chairman, Board of Fellows and Practice Licenses at CIBN. He is also the Executive Director in charge of Fidelity Bank Plc’s Lagos and Southwest Directorate.
He served on the CBN Mobile Collateral Registry Committee (2014–2017) and the CBN N220 billion MSME Development Fund Review Committee, among other positions (2014)
In his acceptance speech, Opara expressed respect to the Institute’s founding fathers, who sacrificed and contributed greatly to the Institute’s growth and development throughout the years.
“Our strategy focus is sculpted into FUTURE, which focuses on six important strategic pillars – financial innovation and transformation, dealing with industry risks, trade and finance partnerships,” Opara told almost 5,000 visitors from around the world.
Others are revealing membership growth paths, reengineering and rebranding the industry’s economic model to include Gen Z and ethical conduct and governance, among other things.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu (represented by his commissioner for finance, Rabiu Olowo); Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele (represented by Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi); a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ernest Ebi, and others praised Opara’s antecedents and profiles, saying there is no doubt he would build on the CIBN’s success story.
“As I hand the baton to my successor, whom I have known for many years as a seasoned banking professional and who is very enthusiastic about the Institute, I am confident that he will lead the Institute to new heights,” Olugbemi said.
At the ceremony, three other officeholders and six elected governing council members were sworn in.
Prof. Pius Oladeji Olanrewaju (First Vice President), Oladele Alabi (Second Vice President), and Mojisola Bakare-Asieru are the elected authorities (National Treasurer).
Rafiat Oluwatosin Onitiri, Olayinka Alade Odutola, Victor Aguwah, Olayinka Odutola, Mary Aina, and Segun Oshadare are the new council members.