Mr. Farouk Gumel, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Union Bank of Nigeria, delivered the keynote address which was part of the theme of the annual conference of the 15th Banking and Financial Conference titled Repositioning the Financial Services Sector for a changing global context.
The two-day event, organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), kicked off on September 13, 2022 and features dignitaries including the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Minister of Finance Ms. Zainab Ahmed, Governor of Lagos State, represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo and other dignitaries.
In his remarks, Gumel hailed the strength, ingenuity and resilience of the financial services industry which he said has ‘transformed Nigeria’s inefficient and analogue financial services industry into a world-class system that has made exceptionally easy for our local elites to do banking. globally and for global elites to do banking in Nigeria.
Mr. Gumel stressed, however, that as we strive to maintain our industry-leading position on the global stage, we must ensure that we do not lose sight of the local element. Mr. Gumel said: “When we remember where we come from locally, we will be better equipped for who we want to be globally.
He noted that this can be achieved by tailoring products and services to meet the needs of customers, wherever they are.
He also highlighted how the rapidly expanding agricultural sector in Nigeria has the potential to grow exponentially and contribute not only to the advancement of the Nigerian economy but also to the welfare of local farmers who constitute a significant percentage unbanked people.
He highlighted how Union Bank, over its 105-year history, continues to support the Nigerian farmer and pointed out that the recent integration with parent group TGI has opened up even more opportunities for the bank to leverage advantage of international partnerships in the service of the rural economy.
“At Union Bank, we are pursuing a series of strategic partnerships to leverage the best of what we do here in Nigeria with the skills and resources overseas that can help us and our partners grow. We’re not looking to reinvent the wheel, we’re looking to leverage the best of what we have and support a constituency that has the capacity to do so much more. We will do what we do best locally and then work with trusted international partners to deliver in the ECOWAS region, across Africa and globally.
In his closing remarks, Gumel congratulated CIBN President Dr. Kenneth Opara FCIB and the entire organizing committee for the auspicious opening of the conference and wished participants constructive and beneficial deliberations.