**Tasks Bankers to Support Economic Growth
By Dipo Olowookere
Nigerian bankers have been charged to collaborate to ensure that the banking industry does its bit to support the development of the nation’s economy.
Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Mr Ade Ayeyemi, who said this in Lagos recently, noted that there was also need to build capacity of people within the banking industry to be able to understand what needs to be done and to support the Nigerian government in doing the right things.
The Ecobank chief and some other bankers were recently honoured by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) at a ceremony in Lagos
During his chat with newsmen, he said the Nigeria economy was not growing as much as it should, pointing out that banks should be able to participate by lending to the economy to grow and also to support the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to succeed in driving monetary policies for economic growth.
However, he emphasised that, “People that borrow need to pay back, because when they don’t pay back, they make it difficult for the bank to continue to lend in the future; they are taking away those opportunities of young people who are entitled to financial institutions to lend to them.
“Those people who have borrowed need to pay back, so that people who are coming behind them will have the same opportunity,” the respected banker said.
Further, Mr Ayeyemi noted that the prospects and opportunity for the Nigerian economy to get to the peak was very bright, saying the country “has the large population, large market and intelligent people.”
“We need to be able to convert those opportunities to real outcomes and that was why I said the banking industry is important, but the people who are borrowing need to be diligent in paying back. Not paying back is not a good business,” he said.
He contended that any “money that is denied or not payed back on time, is money denied permanently, just like justice delayed is justice denied. Money delayed in paying back is money denied as well.”
The CIBN had conferred honorary fellow on successful Nigerians in the banking industry both locally and internationally; these include Professor Benedict Oramah, President, Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM); Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank Nigeria Limited; Dr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance; Mrs. Osaretin Demuren, Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; Mr. Ade Ayeyemi, CEO Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI); Mr Abba Bello, MD Nigeria Export – Import Bank (NEXIM) and Mr. Bakary Jammeh, Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia amongst others.
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