By Suoyo Ekubo
The Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, has urged Young banking professionals to embrace integrity, innovation, and personal development to excel in their careers.
Onyeali-Ikpe, gave the charge as a special guest of honour at the graduation ceremony of stream 1 mentees of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) mentoring scheme.
Delivering her address titled, “The Transformative Power of Mentoring” at the virtual event, Onyeali-Ikpe said, “when I started my banking career over 30 years ago, the first charge I got from my late father who was also a banker was that the best currency for transactions is not the United States Dollar, the British Pounds Sterling, or the Nigerian Naira. The best currency for any transaction is integrity.
“Integrity is the pillar upon which the financial services industry is built. In a very fast-paced world where there is serious peer pressure, you must resist the temptation to “cut a fast deal”, bend the rules or take a short-cut. This profession is a very noble one built on the highest form of ethics. So, my first charge to you is to uphold your integrity at all times. Let your customers and colleagues find you dependable and trustworthy.”
Earlier the CIBN President, Dr. Bayo Olugbemi emphasised the need for graduands to remain studious, diligent, and committed in his welcome address.
Dr. Olugbemi, who was represented by the institute’s National Treasurer, Mr. Dele Alabi, noted that the mentoring scheme provides a platform for senior experienced practitioners to groom and nurture the young banking professionals with a view to help future generation of bankers achieve their personal and career objectives faster while ensuring the safety and sustainability of the banking industry in Nigeria and beyond.
“I am particularly happy to note that from the feedback received from the mentors and participating banks, it is apparent that the objectives of the scheme are being achieved,” Olugbemi said.
“For the benefit of this gathering, here are some of the specific objectives: enhance learning and career development for young bankers; reduce the incidence of professional misconducts among practitioners; facilitate bonding and building new long-term professional relationships; assist in acquiring competence and professional experience; strengthening the talent pipeline into senior leadership goals in the banking industry.”
While commending the mentors on the scheme, he said the 284 mentees are better equipped to make a difference in their professional and personal lives.
The CIBN mentoring scheme was introduced in 2012 as a capacity-building initiative to address some of the needs and gaps identified in the industry. The scheme was revamped and enriched with more features in June 2020 and was relaunched in February 2021.
With a vision to be a global reference point for skills and conduct in the banking and finance industry, the CIBN is the umbrella professional body for bankers in Nigeria. The Institute has members including the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, all deposit money banks, development banks, mortgage banks, microfinance banks, and discount houses amongst others.