CIBN advises banks on cybersecurity

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has urged the banks to strengthen their cybersecurity architecture to protect themselves against attacks by fraudsters.

President/Chairman of Council of the institute, Bayo Olugbemi made the call at the  CIBN’s Fellowship Investiture in Lagos at the weekend.

Olugbemi told over the 600 participants, who attended or connected to the event across the globe through Zoom and YouTube, that Nigeria has been bedevilled by various challenges this year ranging from drop in oil price, COVID-19 pandemic, the recent #EndSARS protests and the attendant pocket of unrests across the country to  the recession. The pace of these disruptive forces and their attendant effects on the financial service system has been intense.

He maintained that the banking industry has remained resilient providing succour for businesses and millions of individuals across the country.

The CIBN conferred its honorary fellowship awards on 19 bankers in recognition of their contributions to the industry and the economy; 77 Associates as Fellows while 105 Senior Management Staff of banks and the academia became Honorary Senior Members of the institute at the event themed, ‘Financial services in a post-COVID-19 Environment: Strategic imperative’.

Others who were conferred with the same award were President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Adewunmi Adesina;  Bank of Sierra Leone Governor, Professor Kelfala M. Kallon;  the President, West African Bankers Association and President Liberia Bankers Association, Mr. John Davies III, among others.

He said that Banks will also continue to reinforce their Risk Management Framework in tandem with Government policies and urge the banks to consider conducting more market research on how customer needs might change in the Post COVID era. This would inform product development and process improvements

In other way round, Mr. Kunle Elebute, Senior Partner, KPMG Nigeria & Chairman, KPMG Africa, while speaking on the “New Realities in the Post-COVID World: Strategic Imperatives”, told bankers that Global CEOs are beginning to acknowledge that the new wave of technological advancement comes with risks that cannot be ignored.

The KPMG Boss said that the effects of COVID-19 will drive new ways of working, new performance metrics and new ways of connecting with and managing employees, well beyond the “work from home” dimension.

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Board and executive management are also increasingly aware that while they might not be the expert in the subject of cyber risk, they will be held accountable if there is a cyber-attack that disrupts business performance, he said.

As a result of the pandemic and working in the remote environment, Elebute suggested that new productivity metrics need to be developed, but without being perceived as intrusive and maintaining a strong culture is as important as ever but much harder, he said

In his intervention, Mr. Ernest Ebi, former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria and Chairman of the event who maintained that the banking industry must realize its locus in the economic recovery process, as banks and other financial institutions play significant role in shaping the recovery by supporting households and businesses to  rebuild their financial security and business health.

To continue to fill the enormous credit gap and offer customers greater access to requisite financial services, Mr Ebi charged the bankers to look beyond the immediate threat of the pandemic and refocus on understanding their customers’ ‘new normal’ needs. Banks, therefore, need to adopt new operating models that support rapid and stronger recovery, as well as ensure efficiency and resilience to weather the storm.

“I am honoured like other honourees to be conferred with this fellowship, the responsibility is for us to conduct ourselves both in our personal and professional life (locally and globally) to these high standards, to be role models and mentors to other professionals in the banking industry and also to support the Institute in its broad activities in terms of building capacity of bankers and their professionalism”, Adesina, President, AfDB said.

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